(Apologies for the late posting; but is anyone actually reading these?)
Week 9 - the Semi-Finals:
This week is the Semi-Finals! The dancers have two dances to perform. The first one is a Ballroom/Latin dance that they haven't done before. The second one is a fan-picked (via Twitter) style that is not generally done on the show. Ten-paddles were flying all over the place: of the 10 dances performed, 4 received Perfect 30s, and 3 received one or two 10s.
Zendaya Coleman's first dance was a Quickstep. While I am a racing fan and the NASCAR theme was cute, they wasted too much time at the beginning of the dance sitting in little go-carts. With her legs, I figured that she would totally rock the Quickstep, but I was wrong. She concentrated too much on speed, which caused her a loss of finesse. She got her lowest score since about Week 4.
Her fan-voted dance was Hip-Hop, which gave her a very unfair advantage. She IS a professional Hip-Hop dancer. As a matter of fact, it would have been more fair to have judged Val, who was completely out of his element. Seriously: is she going to get less than a Perfect 30 when she had to teach her pro?
Jacoby Jones dazzled with his Argentine Tango: so much so that the judges didn't pay any attention to his feet. The quick-kick thing that they do in that dance looked awkward on him, the few that he did. Mostly he just held, lifted, or spun Karina around. What dancing he DID do was lovely. I would have given him 9s; he got his first 10...3 of them, in fact (4, if you count the paddle his mom held up).
His fan-voted Lindy Hop, on the other hand, deserved the two 10s it received. How a man so big can move so fast and smoothly was something else. THIS was a dance that suited him well. It was fun, full of attitude and style, and - best of all - he both kept his shirt on and didn't do any leaps (unless you count a dive).
Kellie Pickler opened the show with an Argentine Tango that was far, far better. It was one of those instances where you really couldn't tell the pro from the star. Some of the spins, splits and kicks she did were inhuman. She received the first Perfect 30 of the evening.
Her fan-picked Flamenco was dramatic, but I felt that it would have served her better if they danced more towards the center. She spent so much time in the corner. The judges said that she looked "stiff" at points; I'd me more willing to bet it was because she didn't want to kick or trip over the lights that were around the floor.
(Side note: Due to last season, Derek really minded his Ps and Qs when it came to the technique of the two dances.)
Ingo Rademacher continued to improve with his Samba. What he lacked in hips he made up for in sheer entertainment. When he put his mind to it, his hips DID move, almost to the point of making one blush to watch. You could tell that he was both giving it his all and having fun.
His fan-picked Charleston, like with Jacoby's Lindy Hop, was a dance most suited to him. Fun, fast, goofy, silly, crazy and rebellious...and very, very pink! I don't think anyone had as much fun as he did all night. This dance netted him his highest score: three 9s.
Aly Raisman continued to show her new-found maturity and acting ability with an extremely sensual Rumba. One could easily forget that she is not even 20 years old yet. Sexy and vibrant without being dirty, she was sheer poetry in motion...albeit, adult poetry. Yet another Perfect 30.
Her fan-picked Afro-Jazz (where do they dig up these styles?) was easily the show-stopper of the evening. I'm really at a loss to try to describe it, except to say that she and Mark were perfectly in synch and she gave it everything she had. She just missed another Perfect 30 by one point.
The Results show was fine. The Wanted and Avril Lavigne performed, and not too badly. The highlight of the show was little 10-year-old Sophia Lucia, who holds the Guinness World Record for most pirouettes in a row (55!) and is an absolute ball of charisma. Watching her dance with Chelsie Hightower, who is her "#1 all-time favorite dancer", and the troupe ladies, was a treat.
The bottom three was actually the bottom two this week: Ingo Rademacher and Zendaya Coleman. The one eliminated this week is...Ingo Rademacher!
Zendaya Coleman - Disney Star ("Shake It Up!")
Andy Dick - Comedian (6)
Dorothy Hamill - US Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater (1)
D.L. Hughley - Actor/Comedian/Writer (4)
Jacoby Jones - Football player/Super Bowl Champion (Baltimore Ravens)
Wynonna Judd - Country Singer (2)
Sean Lowe - Bachelor (7)
Victor Ortiz - Champion Boxer (5)
Kellie Pickler - Country Singer
Ingo Rademacher - Soap Star ("General Hospital") (
Aly Raisman - US Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team Captain
Lisa Vanderpump - "Real" Housewife (3)