On Most Memorable Year Night, the first five contenders were outstanding, all of them! (See Part 1) The following four Star couples were even better! The remaining four Stars' stories were even more poignant and emotional, they're dances meaningful and expressive. The momentum rose in crescendo,in suspense, beauty and emotion. Amber celebrated her baby with a rousing Samba, Marilu and Terra danced wih strong emotion in honor of their departed parents, James celebrated being alive after a horrible accident! What we LOVED is how they ALL gave all they had to sincerely honor their most cherished memories in dance. Here are their stories,in the dances that express them:
6. Marilu Grows Wings, Flies Freely in Waltz
Marilu Henner & Derek Hough
"Surprise Yourself"—Jack Garratt Style: Viennese Waltz
To see Marilu & Derek's Viennese Waltz, Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1uSlkS
HECTOR SAYS: Sniffles, choke, gasp...I was tearing up from beginning to end of Marilu's story, then her beautiful Viennese Waltz; then the way Marilu crossed her arms on her chest and sweetly stared at Derek. I gasped! What about the audience jubilation and the girl Judges embracing Marilu, one on each side, while the boys, Bruno, Derek and Tom embraced each other as well. What JOY! Marilu's tells her MMY tale with profound emotion, choosing 1978 as "the best of times...the worst of times" quoting Dickens. Best, because Henner got her big break as an actress by becoming the only girl in the superhit show "Taxi". Worst, because her beloved mom, who ran a small dance school from her garage, died that same year of a paralyzing illness. She tells Derek Hough, with whom she has a loving connection, perhaps too admiring, that she wants to honor and fulfill her mom's dancing dreams on DWTS. "Give yourself the freedom of space," Derek counsels, "don't constrict yourself". She had been too much in her head, but Marilu finally let herself go. She "allowed herself to be great", said Carrie Ann. Marilu floated into a glorious Derek-designed Viennese Waltz. The song "Surprise Yourself" was meaningful, but It had little clicking sounds that stopped the tempo, usually a no-no for Waltz. Derek used it to artistic advantage. Marilu floated ethereally through it all, kept a brilliant continuous flow, as Bruno mentioned. Henner did the typical Waltz extensions, stretching her arm and looking up ecstatically, like she was reaching for heaven, and her mom, in exhilaration. Later on, as Marilu came out of the Waltz chorus climax, Marilu uttered a little gasp of pride and pleasure. Julianne lauded that gasp .Me? It took my breath away. I was completely moved by this Viennese Waltz from beginning to end. We all waltzed along with Marilu! If I were a Judge, I would paddle her a 10!
PAT SAYS: Hallelujah, Marilu! You got out of your head, just let the dance take over! Marilu went with the heady flow of the Viennese Waltz! She really did beautiful arm extensions, her poise and frame was polished elegance, her lovely turns were gorgeous. For once, I felt a close and true connection between Marilu and Derek, and then to us! This Viennese Waltz was a great and stirring, meaningful homage to Marilu's mom. Marilu freed herself from fear and let her grace and muse direct her, hit a home run! It's what I have been wanting to see from Marilu from week 1. Well done, Marilu! Keep it up! Judges: 27 Pat: 27 A Hector: 28 A
7. Sassy Amber Dazzles In Saucy Samba
Amber Rose & Maks Chmerkovskiy
"Woman Up" - Meghan Trainor Style: Samba
To see Amber & Maks Samba, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g
HECTOR LIKES AMBER: Amber Rose grows on you. Or at least on me. I must admit, in the beginning I thought she was aloof, a bit coy, with a bit of a defiant attitide, not too likable. Physically, I found her disproportionate, too tall, too big in certain places. In dance she looked timid, tentative, a bit scared...What to make of Amber Rose? Gradually she started gaining confidence in dance, showing a sweet and kind side. Somehow, she started looking better and better as weeks went by. Can't figure it out. Maybe wardrobe wasn't dressing her right. I thought her awful short-shorts Salsa outfit and hair made her look cheap. What a transformation, though, in her Argentine Tango! She looked beautiful! Sofia Loren body, a gorgeous all-woman monument,In the Samba package, I watched the tough love Maks used to get a good performance. My heart went out to her as she cried, so desperate and vulnerable. Maks pisses me off! Amber's got me! I like her! She and Maks do that three C's Samba, as Julieanne called it, grand costumes, creative concept, strong content. I love her more as a dancer. As she came down the steps, solo, then joins the four Troupe girls, WOW, she looked spectacular, totally owned the Samba! She eclipsed all 4 girl Pros! Amber then samba-ed around the Ballroom with Maks. All eyes on her, she stole the show from Maks! But Julieanne is right when she says Amber's dance energy and confidence is less with Maks than among the girls of the Troupe! She seems to be a bit intimidated by Maks. Yes, the Judges advice to totally trust and believe in Maks is great advice! It may be too late for Amber to take the advice and move up but whatever the outcome, I'm glad Amber Rose was here! Amber has built herself gradually, a GOOD image, in my view,, a sassy but shy girl who wants to make her presence felt. Amber wants to be accepted as herself just the way she is. Yes Amber, I even like your big bum! For me, Rose has transformed from cocoon to butterfly. Fly along, delicate buttterfly, empowered!
PAT DON'T LIKE: Amber comes out and does a sexy-saturated Samba, just when I"m feeling up to here with the increasing sexy outfits, sexy dances and sexual innuendo on DWTS, Then I found Amber's Samba slow paced, tentative, and not forceful enough as a Samba dance. Her connection to Maks seems strained and tenuous. I'm sure there is much more to Amber, but Maks hasn't brought it out of her yet. His tough approach to teaching doesn't seem to be working for them. I don't like it that I think Amber's sex appeal is being exploited in her dancing. Amber seems stuck in this "sexy" box. It's a tired act for me. If I hadn't seen so much skin, sexy and shirtless dance action since S23 started, I may have been more impressed with Amber & Maks' Samba. I felt she was overscored in this dance. Sadly, I think we may not ever see the other side of Amber.I think her journey is in danger of coming to an end. Judges: 24 Pat: 21 C Hector: 24 B-
8. Charismatic Hinch Is Our Favored Winner!
James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess
"The Right Time" - Yves V w/Mike James
To see James & Sharna Tango, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a
HECTOR LIKES JAMES: My favored dancer for the MBT win is no doubt THE HINCH! James is, in my view, the most mesmerizing dancer in the S23 Cast, as well as the most charismatic, likable guy! There, I've said it! Till last week I had this huge conflict! Laurie Hernandez is my compatriot, and, she's pretty HOT! I may be considered a traitor! And till this week, I felt she was the sure thing, for the MBT WIN! But Hinch was my heart's favorite. He has more maturity and style! He has the savvy, sophistication, and the lilt in his dance,that comes with some life experience. He put it all in his Tango, with a perfect frame, poise, posture and swag! That's what Bruno meant when he said James put the super-slick, super-sharp amazing control in his Tango. He not only had the technique and total routine pat, he then proceeded to add some style, elan, flair, savoir faire. I could not believe this surprising "beginner" dancer! I truly was mesmerized by the Hinchcliffe Mystique! Truly, I enjoyed waching Hinch and Sharna's tango, a lot more than I enjoy the Pro couples do their thing in between DWTS dances! Heresy? Hinch dances LIKE THE BEST PRO! But James is also eminently LIKABLE! His story is of a near death race car accident is the stuff of heroic legend. Hinchcliffe was pierced through by the car's suspension like a lance. His doctor says the survival rate for this injury was 0. He flatlined for a moment. His recovery was miraculous, because of the doctor's diligence and his good physical and mental stamina. He coudn't walk, yet was back on the racecar in less than a year, dancing better than a Pro on DWTS in 15 months! This week, Laurie flubbed her Paso, went down, opened a breach for James to move up. James took the challenge and except for stingy Julianne got an almost perfect score.Both Laurie and James are amazing dancers. Laurie still is the one most likely, and the hype is fully behind her. It'll be a Dark Horse win, for James. My who's better test? I'd rather watch James stylish, swaggering dances twice as much than Laurie's impressive ones. This guy is PURE CHARISMA as a dancer, as a celebrity or as a race car hero! May the best one win, the voter's choice! I'll be happy either way.
PAT LIKES jAMES TOO: What an amazing story James has! That he recovered from his race car accident and is dancing 15 months later is totally mind blowing. I am not a race fan so I had never heard of Hinch before other than seeing him on Celebrity Family Feud this summer. I found Hinchcliffe charming then and I still do, even more so! His dancing is so on point, so fascinating for me,it's impossible to believe that he's never had any training. Dancing looks so effortless for him. Bruno was right in that his movements are perfectly timed to the music and he knows just where to accentuate his moves. To me, James just gets better and better every week and in my opinion, should be the true MBT winner. He definitely deserved 30 for this dance, but we all know why he didn't get it right? We at least expect James will be treated FAIRLY! Keep it up James, you are knocking it out of the park every week!! Judges: 29 Pat: 30 A+ Hector: 30 A+
9. Terra Shows Small People Can Dance,
Especially, With a Partner Like Sasha
Terra Jole & Sasha Farber
"Stand by Me"- Florence & The Machine Style: Contemporary
To see Terra & Sasha's Contemporary, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sZ8hnS
HECTOR LOVES THIS COUPLE: Terra and Sasha do a beautiful Contemporary Dance to close the DWTS Most Memorable Year show. Terra got her big break in her reality show on 2013. That same year her dad died after a liver transplant operation. Her dad, who encouraged her showbiz dreams, asked her not to be present so as not to miss her show opportunity. Terra had a close relationship with Dad, so she was heartbroken not to have been at his death bed. She wants to honor her dad, who never saw Terra's success as a Reality Star.To get full emotion in her Contemporary dance, Sasha tells Terra, touchingly, to imagine himself as her dad, and that she's dancing with him.. Terra later says it was like the dance she could not do with dad at her wedding. Tom Bergeron, who rarely makes a comment on the dancers, felt compelled to mention how connected Sasha and Terra are, in and out of their dance. Sasha's choreography is sincere, direct and riveting, as is the classic "Stand by Me". It has dramatic emotional moves, like when Terra and Sasha both raise one arm and look up. Or admire that great balancing move in which Terra stood on Sasha's thighs, and held both arms up while Sasha extended his arms out expansively (Beautiful!). I also was surprised when Terra ran away, slammed her head and fists in frustration, ran back to Sasha and angrily struck his chest with both fists. Dramatic on the brink of excess. They take risks,show vulnerability, get away with it! I loved it! I's moving! Terra is a dancer, extends her arms, points her feet with conviction. I also admire Sasha's skill to adapt lyrical moves to their height difference! He kneels when she strikes his chest, and so forth. Sasha's twice the artist, in expressive power, and making Terra look good and produce a beautiful, emotional, artistic dance. Kudos to both! I love this couple, as a couple, our Ginger and Fred!
PAT IS INSPIRED; Terra always amazes each week with how she just dives in, does the dance,and does it WELL! She puts a lot of work, and heart, into it and it shows in dance quality. Terra and Sasha, as a couple, are the biggest surprise for me, this season, I didn't think I was going to enjoy her journey as much as I have; but every week, I end up appreciating her dancing as well as her Inspiring personality. Teaches us DANCE is for everyone, big or small. Even though her movements and lines are not as big in stride and size, their BIG in spirit, beauty and emotional power. Sasha seems to be able to create the right choreography. like Contemporary in this week, to complement and adapt to Terra. So, Kudos Sasha & Terra! I always look forward to see what they have in store for us each week expecting to be pleasantly surprised, again and again! Judges: 27 Pat: 27 A- Hector: 27 A-
That's it for the 5th Week, DWTS Fans! Wonderful Memorable Year Night! Not to spoil our happy fun, the best at the end is: THERE WERE NO ELIMINTIONS! WHOOPEE! But Ouch-not next week! Next Week: Latin Night, which is always FUN, ain't it? Looking forward for Laurie to dazzle, and see how the BIG Laurie vs Hinch Battle for the MBT will look like! Can Hinch topple the Sure Thing? How about Terra, Calvin and Marilu? Could they be the Dark Horse instead? And how about Jana, Maureen, Amber, and Ryan? Will one or them be the one to go? It's geting TENSE & EXCITING, midway. The way it's supposed to! Stay tuned!