DWTS May Madness is here with our Final Four! Hats off to all the contestants who graced the stage this year. No guts, no glory! We said “auf Wiedersehen” to Melissa and Roshon last week. They danced their little beaded tassels off during their tenure. The remaining contestants have an amazing amount of talent between them. Tonight, one will leave and we will see the remaining three couples in the finals. What a long, strangely fabulous trip this year has been! Joining me to wrap up last night’s moves are blog hop queen and author, Tracie Banister; president of her local unpacking offices and new homes chapter, blogger Michelle Bell; and then there is little old me, Jen Tucker. Due to circumstances beyond her control, my giggle-giving daughter, Gracie, will not be joining us for comments today. We know you love her sassy little zingers, and promise that she will return for the finals. Let’s roll!
Standout Performance of the week:
Tracie: I really loved Mark and Katherine's 1920s-style Quickstep. It was fun and fast-paced. Great choreo from Mark and Katherine's technique was spot on. I really do love a good Quickstep and I'm always impressed when a celebrity nails it. To me, it seems like such a difficult dance since the majority of it is done in hold and there's so much crazy footwork involved.
Michelle: I absolutely LOVED Donald and Peta's waltz. It was so beautiful and well-choreographed. Donald has been a powerhouse; don't count the football player out. For the second set of dances, I loved William and Cheryl's samba. It was festive and fun, a well-deserved 30. But I think it was the waltz that stands as my favorite of the week.
Jen: In full disclosure, I am a sucker for anything Great Gatsby or Flapper-esque. Now that my confession is out of the way, I will tell you that beyond the theme of their dance, Katherine and Mark Quick Stepped into my heart. They make something so difficult look so fun and breezy! That, my friend, is talent!
This Was Definitely Not Your Dance - Worst Performance:
Tracie: Maria and Derek's Jive - what was that? It's not a Jive if there aren't any kicks and flicks and Maria barely got her feet up off the floor! I felt like I was watching a softshoe, not a Jive. I know the choreo isn't Maria's fault, but the lethargy in her legs is. She has no energy below the waist and it's painfully obvious when she has to do dances that require fast and/or intricate footwork.
Michelle: Katherine and Mark's salsa was weird. I can't even tell you what it was that made me not like it, but I was not impressed. Of course, the trip at the end threw Katherine completely off as well. I felt so badly for her, she was so devastated. I also didn't like the jive by Maria and Derek. I thought it was lazy and the judges fawning all over it was rather annoying.
Jen: At this stage of the game, with the level of talented stars competing, my pick really is what routine I didn’t connect with. It was cute; it was kitschy (which I usually adore), however Maria & Derek’s Jive just didn’t feel…jivey?!? I am so confused when I see judges knock contestants for mixing other dance combinations into a predetermined style, and then tonight they praised it as sensational. If that happened on the school playground, I assure you that Gracie would pout until the cows came home, making sure that the judges knew it was not fair.
The Tina Sparkle Award for best use of sequins and spandex:
Tracie: The 1920s has always been my favorite era. I love those colorful, glittery flapper-style dresses and Katherine looked gorgeous in her pink one last night. Pink is always a blonde's best friend! Her hair looked really pretty with the marcel wave, too. In that get-up, Katherine would have been right at home at one of Jay Gatsby's lavish soirées in West Egg (F. Scott Fitzgerald shout-out!).
Michelle: Katherine's flapper dress was all kinds of awesome! I loved the style, I loved the color, and it was just all around fun. Katherine really dazzles when you put her in a bright, vibrant colors. And Donald was just all around handsome tonight in his suits.
Jen: Oh my mercy, we have a 3 way tie! I am all about the gorgeous shade of pink that Katherine wore this evening. She was radiant! And William Levy? You have reclaimed the men’s white loafer from Cousin Eddie in the Vacation movie saga. You brought sexy white loafers back, baby!
This just in . . . the wardrobe department hates you!
Tracie: Donald and Peta's Samba costumes were really boring, which is a worse fashion crime than being fugly IMO. Their grey/white/black business attire just didn't work for the Samba at all. Yes, I know Peta had her skirt/blouse ripped off to reveal a fun, fringey silver (or was it white?) number underneath, but Donald was still left looking like he'd just stepped off Wall Street. It just wasn't the right visual for a party dance.
Michelle: I thought Derek looked silly in his velvet suit jacket and by the way he kept tugging at it, obviously he agreed. Maria's dress for the jive was very unflattering for her, oddly shaped and not the right style for her.
Jen: I loved the intention; I did not love the costumes Katherine and Mark wore for their Salsa. I love seeing Katherine in the bold and vibrant colors, such as the fuchsia she slipped on for their first number. I think they could have carried off the theme of snake charmer and belly dancer with something that had more oomph! I was reminded just a tad of Carol Burnett’s curtain wearing Scarlett O’Hara dress. Just a tad…
What were the judges' smoking?
Tracie: The judges' scoring is so schizophrenic! How many times have they jumped all over pro/celebs for not sticking to the dance they were assigned? Len even got on Derek about that Bollywood-inspired non-Samba last week. But last night, when Derek and Maria did some weird, jazzy, Fosse-style riff on the Jive, Len handwaved it and the judges gave them a ridiculously overscored 29. It's like I'm not even watching the same dances they are!
Michelle: I don't envy the judges this week as all four are good dancers and it is a tough decision for them. However, it does totally feel like they are pimping Maria and Derek with the consistent high scores on weaker dances. On the other end of the spectrum, the judges praise Donald and Peta week after week of being so good and the scores do not reflect the praise they are heaping.
Jen: Just as a courtesy, and because he knows MANY large football players, I just have a small word of caution for Len Goodman. Never – NEVER – call Donald Driver a “tough cream puff.” Just take it into consideration, Len. They could hurt you; badly.
Tom Bergeron's best one-liner:
Tracie: It must have been an off night for Tom because I don't remember him saying anything particularly hilarious. I did laugh at his reaction to Maria jumping on him after getting her judges' scores. She said she had to do it because Derek's back was hurt. Tom looked startled, then bemused. The poor man is always having his personal space invaded on this show! I guess that being jumped on is better than having his butt pinched.
Michelle: "I think Maria almost ripped apart the Skybox" after Maria went shrieking around like a banshee. I was embarrassed for her tonight with how she was acting.
Jen: I cannot wait for the one-liners that Tom throws out to us and reels us in with. I didn’t bite on any this evening. So many stars and their partners are injured, or were injured this evening. Maybe Tom’s Funny Bone was out of sorts.
The "Oh, Brooke!" moment of the week:
Tracie: "Do you have a thing for cages?" Brooke's question to Mark after he and Katherine did their Quickstep. What did she expect Mark to say? "Yes, Brooke, I'm totally into cages and whips and chains, too." <eye roll>
Michelle: Brooke was rather tan tonight, wasn't she? Not orange, but she had obviously been spray tanned today. She had two moments tonight...one that made me roll my eyes pretty hard and the other that made me snicker. The look on Donald's face when she asked what is was about him as a man that helped him survive was priceless. She said it in such an "I'm a serious news reporter" voice that my eyes rolled and I shook my head. When she scolded Maria to "get serious", however, I had to smile. It was clearly not scripted and unexpected, but it was priceless.
Jen: So my oldest son Wil brought home an art project this week. *Yes, this is going somewhere* It is a vase made from rolled strips of magazine pages. He placed them in layered coils while gluing as he went along crafting it. It is so cool! That was all I could think of as I looked at Brooke because her dress looked EXACTLY like Wil’s creation! So in all honesty, I was thinking about different color combinations Wil could create for me when making a vase for my office. Did Brooke even speak? She did? My apologies…
Time to hang up your dancing shoes:
Tracie: I'm sorry to say that I think our Welsh Wiggler is done for. I just don't think she has as powerful of a voting fanbase as the other three and losing three points on her Salsa because of her back spasm was the nail in her dance coffin. Her elimination might be for the best if her back is seriously injured and she's in pain. I hate to see celebs continue on with injuries that they'll only make worse.
Michelle: This is a strong final four and hard to say who should go home. I personally think it will be either Maria or Katherine. While they are both good, I don't think they have the fan support that Donald and William have. From the beginning I had thought Katherine would win, but over the last two weeks, I'm not so sure now.
Jen: It really pains me to say this, and I think she is über talented; Katherine may not have a place in the final competition. I worry that her last dance score, with injury factored in, may have an effect on the overall outcome for her. I am unsure that she has the base of voters to keep her alive until next week, and I would love to be proven wrong.
Time and time again we see it’s anyone’s game, and anyone can go home no matter how much we adore them, or think they were robbed (yes, Jack Wager; nothing but love for you). No matter who goes home, they gave their best and should hold their head high making it to The Final Four.
We will see you next week! Be there or be talked about!
Michelle, Tracie, Jen & Gracie