Last week was another double elimination, with Michael and Mark getting kicked to the curb. Tonight, for the first time, the couples have to perform two individual routines: one ballroom, and one Latin/decade dance (I don't know). A lot of couples have hit the wall, with the flu sweeping through the cast in addition to the normal injuries and plain old frustration. The credits roll and there were people on this season that I totally forgot about already. Like remember Macy Gray? She was pretty bad. I wonder if she'll actually come back when they have the finale or if she'll beg off.
Tom and Samantha introduce the couples as they do their traditional walk down the stairs. I just now realized that Mya has an accent over the y in her name. That's weird. Also, the trumpet player in the band (male) has an awesome manicure. His nails are mad shiny.
Tom explains that in addition to a traditional ballroom dance, each couple will be doing a decade-themed Latin routine, based on either the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, or THE FUTURE! I can't wait to see who got THE FUTURE (and yes, I will continue to type it in all caps -- please imagine an echo effect every time you read it).
So what will the judges be looking for in the ballroom round? How about good dancing? I think that might be swell. The judges explain that in Donny's Viennese waltz, they'll be looking at sweeping movements and good posture. Joanna has the quickstep, and she'll need to keep her balance and not stumble as she has in the past, and keep an eye on her technique. Kelly has the foxtrot, and the judges want to see grace and elegance, and she has to show improvement in her technique. Mya has the quickstep, and the judges want to see less flash, dash, and gimmicks and more technique and traditional dance moves. Aaron has the foxtrot, and he needs to tone down his natural exuberance and concentrate on the natural rise and fall of the dance and control.
Let me say a word about Mya and Dmitry. Some feel that they have been unfairly targeted by the judges, but I totally agree with Len; Mya clearly has the talent and skill to do a textbook ballroom routine, and yet every week she falls short of her potential. I'm not blaming either of them because I don't know whose decision it has been to follow this path, but it feels like they are doing routines to impress the people at home (like me) who don't know shit about ballroom, instead of to show off their technique to the judges. I do think that dancers like Derek are overly praised sometimes, but the reason that Len really loves Derek is because he is always sure to throw in a few traditional ballroom sequences no matter what else he has going on in the routine. Dmitry needs to follow suit if he wants to get those high scores, and it's a bit disingenuous to claim that he doesn't know what Len wants. Len has made it clear what he wants -- good technique and traditional ballroom movements.