Judges? Bruno says that he knows it was all in fun, but she wasn't in hold enough, she screwed up the Charleston step, and when she was in hold, her posture was bad. Carrie Ann loves seeing Bristol's progress, but points out that there's a rule that once they go into hold on the quickstep, they have to stay in hold until the end, and they broke hold a number of times. Len liked the entertainment and enthusiasm of the dance, and adds that he liked "the hoedown but the technique was a bit lowdown." They are trying to be really nice with their criticisms, though. Scores: Carrie Ann 6, Len 6, and Bruno 6. Ouch.
Helio is also feeling the pressure from the increased competition this season. And their dumb field trip this week involves Chelsie going for a ride in a car with Helio on a track. Anyway, they have the jive and Helio is a much better dancer than I remember. His movements are sharp and he's got great facial expressions. This routine has tons of kicks and flicks and he seems to hit all of them, even if he is still a little pigeon-toed.
Judges? Carrie Ann thought he improved this week and his kicks and flicks were right on it. Len loved that Helio let the joy in his face come through, and agrees with Carrie Ann on the kicks and flicks. Bruno calls it "a delicious treat of a jive," but there were tiny nitpicks to point out. Overall, Bruno thought the dance was fun. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 7.5, and Bruno 7.5.
Apolo wasn't super happy with his scores last week, even though he came in fourth place last week. He's in the Olympic mindset that he needs to come in the top three or it doesn't count. Karina is also encouraging him to lead in their quickstep, which is tough when he's not sure of the steps. So their quickstep? Is pretty incredible. At first I was worried that Apolo wasn't light enough on his feet but then they went into a prolonged piece of footwork that got the audience on their feet. It was complicated and Apolo pulled it off without a hitch. He looked like a pro out there.
Judges? Len tells Apolo that he earned the gold medal, because he combined speed and control. Bruno says that Apolo proved that determination and focus pay off, and his footwork was incredible. Carrie Ann felt like Apolo was truly driving the dance, which is key to winning. Scores: Carrie Ann 8.5, Len 8, and Bruno 8. Man, they are really holding back the 9s. I thought their scores would be higher.
Sabrina got criticized for overdancing last week, so Louis decides to give her more difficult choreography this week, including some sort of crazy flying up the stairs. In rehearsals, she nails it but then when Louis goes to dip her, she's not ready and falls on the stairs and hurts her arm, I guess? I rewatched it and I'm not sure how she hurt her arm. Anyway, she's not sure if she wants to keep it in the routine. So their quickstep is really great, although there's a weird opening where they pretend to be backstage and surprised that it's time to dance that didn't fit into the routine and just felt awkward. The actual dancing is great - I don't see a single misstep. The ending is the big flight up the stairs and...I don't see why they risked life and limb for that ending. It didn't have a huge impact. But the rest of the routine was great.