DWTS Latin Night Surprises: Trio at The Top? Laurie, Hinch-& JANA!
Latin Night Stars, l to r, Hinch & Sharna, Laurie & Val, Guest Pittbull, Jana & Gleb
Latin Night Thrills! As usual, we had fun with the hot, shake-shake, alegre y delicioso dancing.
But Argentine passion dominated over shake your booty this one night! A perfect score for Jana & Gleb's torrid (and wet)A. Tango just shot our rankings out of whack! A perfect score and ascending journey for Laurie and Val on the Cirque's 4th week made them the sure MBT thing, But then Laurie fumbled her Pasodoble last week, while Hinch and Sharna's had a heroic MMY dance story, and an almost perfect Tango score. Could Hinch topple Laurie? Now on the 5th week, a new unsuspected Dark Horse emerges! Jana and Gleb do a spectacular, unusually sexy and creative Argentine Tango and become the new outside chance! Could they challenge both Laurie and Hinch? This is why I love this Reality Dance Show! Anything can happen! (Hey production, no hype or meddling, please, let it be! Don't spoil the fun of unpredictability!) And closely following as a posssible contender is Calvin Johnson, the dancing football surprise, with a killer A. Tango as well! But don't forget, or count out, our Ginger & Fred couple, Terra and Sasha, who didn't do as well in their Paso on Latin Night ,but have a competitive cumulative history . It's complicated! The plot thickens, the betting odds change in Vegas! Can Laurie and Val be beat? Stay tuned.
Meantime, let's see how our outstanding couples of S23 wiggled and jiggled and tangoed on a spectacular Latin Night! Pittbull joyfully provided the opening entertainment and Latino magic wand for ambiance as well as Guest Judge. As a Judge, he was an amiable and encouraging presence.
1. Ryan Overscored in a Fumbled, Graceless Cha Cha
Ryan Lochte & Cheryl Burke
"La Negra Tiene Tumbao"—Celia Cruz Style: Salsa
To see Ryan & Cheryl in Salsa, click here: http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ryan-cheryl-s
HECTOR SAYS: It's Celia Cruz " La Negra Tiene Tumbao" ! Authentic Salsa as can be, really hot music. And saucy Cheryl really put some content in her Salsa and a lot of interesting moves. Oh, how hot she moved and wiggled around and about and under Ryan to make him come alive in Salsa! But what a letdown from Ryan's last impressive Contemporary! In it he showed full commitment, and a huge honest and vulnerable spirit and efffort to really DANCE! In this Salsa, he was going through the routine in a laid-back, cavalier manner, like he was counting or trying to remember what step came next. When he went three steps over Cheryl while she writhed on the floor sensually, Ryan looked as sexy as a military field trainee in an obstacle course.("Ooops, what the hell is Cheryl doing down there?"). Cheryl maybe gave him too many steps. Better less and slower, but with his heart and passion in it, as in his Contemporary? Ryan did't show fun, grace or musicality. and very poor rhythm and timing! To add some heat, Cheryl had to strip the shirt off muscular Lochte, then snatch off the pants as well in showy fluorescent camouflage. The gimmick added fun and lured poor Pittbull into the gift of an 8. But why Julianne decided to give Ryan an 8 as well is incomprehensible! (She's gone mad, either under or overscoring without rhyme or reason). Ryan has proved to be a PR DWTS production success. How sad and pitiful that voters have validated Locthe's dancing over more worthy Babyface and Vanilla Ice's!
PAT SAYS: Right off the bat, Ryan and Cheryl were called safe from the beginning of the show.. Surprising to me! Guess the protestors dug up some sympathy for Ryan making him stay beyond his dancing talent. Ryan had SOME hip action going on. He handled the Salsa well. He had a few mistakes with his timing, his feet and his arms looked a little weird here and there. The neon costumes were crazy FUN! Ryan did better than I had expected. Each week I keep saying I think this is the last we will see of him; yet each week, Ryan is called safe. I have to think that by now his competitive talent for dance has FINALLY run it's course, as compared to how much better the others have performed. I expect him to exit at last next week! Judges: 30/40 Pat: 28/40 C Hector: 26/40 C-
2. Unfair to Score Terra Same as Ryan? Better Dancer!
Terra Jole & Sasha Farber
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"—Santa Esmeralda Style: Pasodoble
To see Terra & Sasha's Pasodoble, click here: http://www.mjsbigblog.com/terra-sasha-p
HECTOR SAYS: I'm so pissed off about the low score the Judges gave Terra and Sasha for their Pasodoble! It got the exact same score 7, 8,8,7 = 30 that Ryan and Cheryl's Salsa just before Terra's performance. Compare each dance in style content,correctness in technique and timing, and passion and spirit in performance and there's no way Terra's performance can be remotely equal to Ryan's. Take that cavalier, aloof, uninvolved attitude Ryan showed in his Salsa. No way it could match Terra's fierce commitment in her Paso. Look at the grace Terra used her hands like a Flamenco dancer. Not even Laurie did that correctly in her awful Paso. Look at Ryan totally non-existent grace in Salsa! How can it be fair for the Judges to give thes two couples the same score? Terra and Sasha look so loving and connected doing their dance! Cheryl looks like a puppetmaster trying to get her partner Ryan to MOVEJ She does all the work. As Cheryl said in the package "even get your clothes and take them off?" She said it playfully, but in every dance, we've seen Cheryl doing all the work, and her diverting tactics and inspired gimmicks to get the audience off focusing on Ryan's mistakes! So many mistakes in Ryans salsa, especially about timing. Terra on the other hand is always on the beat, and had very few mistakes. Should I also mention how Paso-innapropriate and difficult to adapt was the music Terra got? Still Terra's Paso was better in general than Laurie's Paso. Laurie got 8,9's, while Terra gets two 7's? All we ask is for the judges to be fair! Not to have one standard for Laurie and Ryan, and an unfair one for Terra and Sasha!
PAT SAYS; Terra and Sasha were safe again this week. They've been in the upper half of cumulative scores, so this was no surprise to me. I had a hunch Pasodoble would not fit Terra's personality too well. Pasodoble requires a fierce attitude, requires anguish. I think this one was a little out of Terra's comfort zone. Still, Terra and Sasha connected and handled it well, but she didn't seem as confident. She can move that body of hers well, but I felt that in this Paso, the attention focus shifted to Sasha. Terra was not the center of attention, as in the other dances. Kudos for Sasha for not "dumbing down" (simplifying it too much) her choreo. I think Ryan and Mo will go before Sasha and Terra do. I'm looking forward to at least another 2 weeks of Terra and Sasha staying in the compeition. Hopefully next week Terra will do much better, as expected. Scores: Judges: 30/40 Pat: 29/40 B- Hector: 32/40
3. Amber Rosebud Never Quite Blooms Under Maks TLC
Amber Rose & Maks Chmerkovskiy
"Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha"—Petty Booka Style: Cha Cha Cha
To see Amber & Maks Cha Cha, click here: http://www.mjsbigblog.com/amber-maks-ch
HECTOR SAYS: Amber Rose, a fragrant rose like you by any other name would smell as sweet! We got who you were, at last, had a peek into your lovely soul and a glimpse into a definite ability to dance that never quite blossomed into it's full potential. In this Cha Cha, what I saw was a wonderful and different teasing quality that many female dancers can't pull off. The Bla Bla Cha Cha was made for Amber's kind of flirtatious chic. She had the presence and she had the style. I can think of many a female Pro who couldn't do the "Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets" shtik or characterization as well as Amber! She also had,albeit a bit tentative, yes, the promise of the moves, the steps and the beat...and she had Maks, who was wonderfully snazzy and sophisticated in this terrific Cha Cha Cha. Look at the pic at top. What a ritzy, stylish couple! Had Amber broke out dancing with the full force of her larger than life personality, with a partner like Maks Chmerkovskiy, who knows how far it would have carried her! Truth is Amber stayed in the "promise" stage. Julianne hilariously showed us what Amber lacked! She did a wonderful raunchy demo by rubbing her thighs with exagerated passion. Right on, Jules! In the package we saw how frustrated Maks got trying to get Amber's X dance factor to come out! They had a love-hate relationship which never quite worked. That one scene in which Amber was doing the Cha Cha steps wrong, was revealing. It exposed Maks short temper as he struck his fist against the mirror in angry rebuke. It also revealed Amber's fragile and frightened vulnerability, as she had a meltdown and left the rehearsal in woe. They never had a good working relationship. They didn't quite show a good dance connection as a couple, either.. Only for brief delightful moments, like the one shown in the pic above. Ah, had they clicked, how'd great that would have been! But it didn't happen! Still Amber's Dance Journey left a sweet mark in many a heart. She showed how glamorous and proud a big girl can be!
PAT SAYS: Amber was in jeopardy again this week. I feared this week would be her last. I sound like a broken record when it comes to Amber's dancing. Every week I expect to see something different from her and every week we get the same thing, a dance that is all..."About Amber's Booty" Now, granted some of the dances legitimately call for some booty movement, but every week? Also, her dances seem to me like they are in slow motion. They lack energy. This week particularly, it felt like she just kinda fast-walked through her dance. Yes, it was nice, but all her dances have been "nice" and stayed there. She really hasn't shown much growth in her dancing. At the end, I corroborated my hunch that she would be the one to go. Goodbye Amber - it was just...NICE! Judges: 28/40 ,
Pat: 26/40 C, Hector: 30/40 C+
4. Hinch, Best Ever DWTS Male Dancer Masters Rumba
James Hinchclifffe & Sharna Burgesss "Need the Sun to Break"—James Bay Style: Rumba
To see James & Sharna's Rumba, click here: http://www.mjsbigblog.com/james-s
HECTOR SAYS:What a pleasure it is to watch James and Sharna dance every week! Who knew? A race car driver! Julianne declared him "the best male dancer in DWTS (history) ever" after this Rumba! Then she gave him a 9/10! Diffficult? No, she gave Ryan an 8! Just inconsistent. Carrie Ann, bless her heart, not only gave James a well deserved 10, but praised the Hinch's arms, extensions, hip action, the NUANCES! Yes, the nuances, the way he gently caresses Sharna very slowly, then sweeps her speedily across the ballroom. The way as Bruno said, he keeps the continuous flow of pulsating movement to the rhythm of the music.Essence of the Rumba, James understands Rumba instinctively, responds sensually! He sensually connects with Sharna. His Rumba Dance of Love ritual is very credible! I can't believe he didn't know, growing up, he had this bountiful power as a dancer! It's the nuances that set him apart as an artist. James is even more watchable than many a pro. The way he plays his part from beginning to end,a consummate actor in a dance tale of love, is awesome. James has a magical ability to put everything together, technique, line,steps, movement. With great integrity, he and Sharna blend it all into a powerful performance, We watch him greatly pleased with a huge smile, because besides his dance showmanship, James is eminently likable, very self-effacing and unassuming. He laughs at his not being sexy, but of course, that is in itself sexy. He credits Sharna for making him a good dancer.We males identify with James because he looks like a regular guy. He's not haughty, stand-offish or intimidating. We root for him to do well! When he takes our breath away with his masterful Rumba, we feel like jumpin up and down and hooting like if he raced in first down the finish line! Whoohoo, James! We get such a kick out of your Rumba! I wish you were THE WINNER!
PAT SAYS: Latin Night, I really didn't know what to expect from James and Sharna's Rumba. Could he bring the sensual moves and look sexily connected to his partner? He and Sharna have a great chemistry, but I didn't consider them sexy till this Rumba! I thought the package story of his Latino alter ego Ricardo was hilarious. That funny story is how I pictured James. Funny and poking fun at himself but not sexy. WOW, was I wrong! James hand moving up Sharna's legs after her her split was HOT! Then he slid sensually by Sharna with a Valentino look..FIRE! To top it off, he did that final dip, WHEW! He really knows how to accentuate his nuanced fast and slow movements to the rhythm of the music. This Rumba was sensual, stirring and sexy without being raunchy. James never ceases to surprise me.Don't know what the heck Pitbull and Julianne find lacking! James and Sharna were underscored. I think it has to do with the official hype plan. James and Sharna, I can't wait for what you'll bring next week!!
Judges: 38/40 Pat: 40/40 A+ Hector: 40/40 A+
5. Marilu Had Fire, Must Yet Explode in Full Potential
Marilu Henner & Derek Hough "Echa pa'lante"—Thalía Style: Cha Cha
HECTOR SAYS: "Marilu's best asset," says Derek, " is having these BEAUTIFUL legs. When they're in the right place, you really SEE them! (It's like) "Dang, gurl, I should be looking at them (legs)...She's in my mom's age!...WEIRD! No!It's WEIRD!", and to himself: "Don't talk that weird! Yeah?". I LOVE this couple. From their sweet and amusing dialogue in their package, to their alwasys provocative and eminently watchable dancing skills. This music had the wrong beat WEIRD! Not the typcal 1,2,3- Cha Cha Cha! But give it to the Master to make it work! It was Salsa music, but Derek and Marilu put the Cha Cha into it, made it zip and crackle and POP! Derek says he's usually "meticulous", BUT with Marilu, so as to get her out of her head, he's letting her "be in charge". He wants it to be "her Journey". Although Marilu obviously has considerable skills and dancing chops, her admiration for Derek's BIG talent and reputation has given her "Dancer's Block" or "Can't Live Up to Hough" inhibitions. Derek's new approach is to let her be Marilu, to have her dance muse come out. It came out finally last week! Marilu's dance power continued to flow freely this week in this great Cha Cha. From beginning to end we could see a polished and perfect routine that flowed from her own soul and sensitivity; beautiful lines, saucy extensions, little style pleasures, expertly done with sophisticated rhythm and musicality. Still, Henner's performance had polish but lacked SPLASH! Next week, I'd love her to have a skillful routine, but get that Marilu Henner full fledged, razzle-dazzle passion OUT full force! I know she has it in her! I've been GAGA OVER MARILU the way she's GAGA OVER DEREK. I want Marilu and Derek to explode! Gimme SOME Derek Brand creative specialty that will unleash all of Marilu's dance passion and charisma!
PAT SAYS: Marilu's breakthrough continues in this excellent Cha Cha performance with Derek Hough. Last week she got a big hug from the girl judges! This week went out on that ballroom and just had visible FUN! Her connection to Derek was more easygoing and natural than in her former "in her head mode". Marilu apparently feared that she would let Derek down or make a flub! It didn't let her relax and let her dance mojo come out! On Latin Night, Marilu nailed her Cha Cha moves and her leg placement and (her legs as well, according to Derek!) was gorgeous. Maybe Marilu could have had a tad more hip action, but overall she did really well. Judges: 34/40 Pat : 32/40 B Hector: 36/40 B+
OK folks! That's half of it, hope you had fun and chuckles reading it. Don't take yourself too seriously! I certainly don't. Laugh at yourself and DANCE! Like Hinch does, who got the surprise of his life by DARING TO DANCE! LOOK FOR PART 2 ON SATURDAY NIGHT! Just click on http://hectorsblog.livejournal.com/4557
Pat Halford @pahgah : An original California girl, now living in Tennesee. Here's her Twitter description: "Enjoying life with my retired Navy husband of 24 years."
Hector Sola @archihector : Architect, realtor, blog writer. I love music, dance, film, visual media & WORDS . Educated at Harvard College, U. C. Berkeley, Paris, FR, fellowship. Married till death took my Laura, my love. Dad to 3 adult girls, 1 boy. From San Juan, Puerto Rico. Frequent Los Angeles, CA visitor.