Dancing With The Stars: Week 10
With only three teams left, and the big disco ball on the line, each team has three performances to do this week. One is held off for the results show, but tonight we got to see each of them in the Judge's Choice round, and the much anticipated Freestyle. Let's get to it.
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Pasa Doble) - This was one of the few dances that gave them trouble earlier in the season, so it was interesting to see them get another shot. It was an improvement, and Laila had much more difficult choreography to do. I thought the added difficulty worked against them. Laila was impressive, but there were a couple moments where she seemed to lose the rhythm. The theatrics of the performance were top notch though. Len thought it was fantastic. Bruno called it a tidal wave of passion and drama. Carrie Ann agreed with them and loved it as well. Score: 29 (10, 9, 10) I thought that was a little high.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Rumba) - The rumba was an interesting choice. It wouldn't have been mine. It was what we have come to expect from these two. Very intricate choreography, performed very well. They looked great together and I thought they had great chemistry. The dance lacked some of the flash we have seen in other numbers, but the more subdued steps were beautiful. Apolo continues to impress week after week, and I'm now firmly convinced that Julianne is the Pro of the year, or whatever you want to call it. This has been a fantastic debut on the show for her. Bruno compared it to American Gigolo somehow, and that was a good thing. Carrie Ann said it was over-performed. Len agreed with Carrie Ann, saying that the performance lacked romance. I have no idea what he was talking about. Score: 28 (9, 9, 10)
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Cha Cha) - Now, if you have been playing along at home for the past ten weeks, you had to cringe at that marionette opening. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but there was no way that was going to play with Len. It's too late in the competition, with too much on the line, to not take those things into consideration. They got past that and went on to have a very fun performance. Unfortunately, it was a little too fun, and not really enough cha cha. Carrie Ann thought it lacked content. Len called it too theatrical, with too many tricks. Bruno said it was just not quite there. Score: 26 (9, 8, 9) They had a good point about the content of the dance.
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Freestyle) - The announcer threw me off for a second when he announced that Laila and Maks would be doing the pasa doble. Again? That was a mistake, of course, as this was their big freestyle routine. In retrospect, they may have been better served doing something more traditional with the freestyle spot. It's just not Laila's strong suit. She was good, but the time for good was three or four weeks ago. With Joey and Apolo waiting in the wings they needed something special, and this performance just didn't measure up. The judges all agreed that this just wasn't the right dance for her. All of them said that they would have preferred something more sophisticated and sensual. Score: (9, 8, 9)
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Freestyle) - This one was more what I was expecting from the freestyle portion of the competition. Julianne once again outdid herself with some great choreography. Apolo held up his end by managing some very intricate steps and pulling off some pretty impressive tricks. Bringing the break dancing into it was a gamble, to be sure, but it paid off in the end. Len said it was everything he wants to see in a freestyle. Bruno added that the Apolo Syndrome was taking over. Carrie Ann was so excited she didn't even comment on it. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10).
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Freestyle) - Of all of the teams, this was the freestyle I was most looking forward to. Apolo and Laila are solid dancers, but neither of them can entertain like Joey, and the freestyle is right in his wheelhouse. They didn't disappoint. From the moment he ripped off his black suit to reveal his disco duds, everything was amazing. The huge leap from the stage was great. His first spin of Kym was incredible, and they carried that right on through the performance with trick after trick. The way he tossed her around was very impressive, and the dancing between the tricks was pretty good too. The performance of the night. Bruno called Joey Mr. Entertainment. Carrie Ann liked that they incorporated so many of the things they have learned in the competition. Len compared Joey to Harry Potter on the Nimbus 2000. Proving that he has been sitting next to Bruno for too long now. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)
So, with one dance to go, it's a close race. Laila & Maksim have 55, Joey & Kym have 56, and Apolo & Julianne have 58. Depending on how things shake out in the third performance, any of the teams can still win it. I'm picking Apolo & Julianne. Another great night of dancing gets this one a 6, out of 7.
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