Their freestyle starts with a giant picture of Fat Ricki on the stage, and she was bigger when she started, but this has obviously been distorted because she wasn't THAT big. Derek does flips towards the picture and Ricki bursts out of it. Not my cup, but at least it didn't last long. You know what I'm loving about this freestyle? It's not hip hop or contemporary. It's kind of a quickstep, to be honest, and there's some Latin in there -- maybe samba or salsa? I don't know enough about the steps to tell you, but it's definitely combining two different types of dance. Ricki does a great job with the footwork and they are mostly smooth going into and out of the tricks. For the last lift, Ricki lies across Derek's shoulders like a board and he just spins her around like a million times, so she stumbles a bit when she retains her feet. It maybe wasn't as flashy as some, but Ricki didn't miss a step and it just looked good. Not perfect, but really good.
Judges? Len thought it was fun and entertaining, even if she lost it a little in the quickstep section. Bruno thought it was an amazing combination of the salsa and the quickstep, since they are very opposite in movements, but she managed it. Carrie Ann loved the same thing and pointed out how smooth they were going into and out of the lifts, except for the last one where Ricki stumbled a bit at the end, because Derek spun her around like a top. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9 and Bruno 9. The judges are actually scoring this season instead of handing out 10s like candy. I like it.
Heh, as Tom introduces the next segment you can see in the background that Kirstie Alley is sitting with Maks in the audience. It goes Kirstie, Maks, Val, Hope. Kirstie and Maks are yukking it up and having a great time, Val is smiling, and Hope is ice cold and scowling. That says so much.
Anyway, Rob and Cheryl are up next. Cheryl explains that she's done three freestyles. She won twice, and lost once. She decides to do a routine that starts out slow and ends fast. So Rob starts out on the stage with Cheryl on a piano. It's very '30s style as they dance to "Minnie the Moocher." It's pretty good in the beginning, but I love right before the fast part kicks in and you can see Cheryl kind of look at Rob like, "Are you ready for this?" with a devilish look and then they go hopping and kicking across the ballroom and turn it into a Charleston. For his part, Rob doesn't seem to miss a step, even with some difficult lifts thrown in. It was really good. Not perfect, but really good. I've liked these first two freestyles as much as I've liked any freestyle ever; let's hope JR continues that trend.