“Dancing With the Stars” pro Anna Trebunskaya weighs in on each of the week’s three performances. The “DWTS” veteran knows what it takes to dazzle on the dance floor and gives her take on the dances, the choreography and the judges’ scores. You can find her on Twitter @atrebunskaya.
The show had a very powerful opening number choreographed by Mandy Moore, with a wonderful blend of a modern hip-hop, jazz and a superclean Cha Cha. This is the week that the pros are getting tougher with their stars, pushing them to another level. That’s when we see some celebs struggling mentally as well as physically. It makes for good drama.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: This was a full-impact quickstep from Elizabeth. I loved the little set of the story in the beginning of the dance. It allowed Elizabeth to get into the character and start having fun. I also liked the energy and the commitment. I think in all the ballroom dances, she needs to bend her knees more so she can have an easier frame and body contact. That will also help her relax her upper body. Great job overall.
Brant Daugherty: To be honest, in the video clip before Brant danced I was like, “Uh oh.” I was really worried for him coordinating his body to the fast beat. What matters is what he did on the day and, boy, he delivered! The energy was fantastic! I loved all the cutesy moves and gimmicks. If you looked past the Jive extravaganza, Brant was really strong technically for the first 30 seconds of the routine and then he got a bit flat through his feet and knees. He lost a bit of stamina. Luckily, he had so much enthusiasm that it carried him through to the end.
Leah Remini: That was a great job from Leah! I appreciate so much that she didn’t back off the lifts and tricks and just went for it. I think the lifts still freak her out, but she’s conquering it. I also loved her attitude throughout the dance. It was spicy and hot, and she sure worked those hips. I’m really happy with this performance, but Leah needs to keep her eyes up and connect to Tony a little more. I feel she gets a tad bit internal because she’s trying really hard to make all the steps just right. She gets the most-improved celebrity week to week.
Jack Osbourne: This is the point in the competition when everyone gets tired, it’s not just MS, Jack. Everybody is exhausted, even if they don’t admit it. I think this was a really cute routine for Jack, but it was also full of basic Jive content. I just love how he goes for it and doesn’t give up. Was it the most technically perfect routine? Absolutely not. But it was charming, full of fun character and entertaining. I feel that a score of 10 was a bit of an encouragement score from Carrie Ann, but I’m sure it felt great to get that.
Amber Riley: This was a phenomenal performance! She literally pushed through the pain and frustration of the week and let it all be channeled into the passion of the Paso Doble. This truly was one of the better Paso’s we’ve had in 17 seasons of “DWTS,” partly because the music really matched the style of dance, but mainly because of how Amber interpreted it. I didn’t mind that her shoulders were slightly held. She maintained a beautiful volume and posture throughout the whole dance. She was a Spanish vixen. Love, love, love! She got the most enthusiastic comment from Len in like a century, and then a 10! And then, “I’m not going to tell you what Bruno is full of!”
Bill Engvall: What I love about Bill is his sense of humor and his infectious smile. I think he started really well in the Quickstep by channeling Elvis. Now, something happened in the middle of the routine. He lost his energy and his smile, along with his posture and footwork. It’s not that he hasn’t practiced. It just is getting harder and harder in the show. I think at this point in the competition, Bill is definitely the weakest dancer, but he has so much spirit and realness to him that you just root for him. Don’t give up Bill! You’re showing all of America that a baby boomer aged guy can definitely dance and have fun with it. I don’t want to be the downer, but I feel Bill is the most likely to be eliminated.
Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi: I was really impressed with Nicole’s improvement from week to week, so I was expecting so much from her, I suppose. This week we saw that she really struggled with picking up choreography and maybe that affected her confidence in the beginning of the dance. I agree with the judges’ comments, all of them actually. Once she got over her little hump in the beginning, she got a bit more relaxed, slowed down and got into the groove of the Samba. Her score to me was a bit high but all are entitled to their opinion. I still love her honesty. When asked, she said she felt, “like a turtle.” She still is a promising dancer and a fun personality to watch. Her elimination was the biggest surprise of the night. I was really seeing her making it so much further.
Corbin Bleu: The Cha Cha was a really good style of dance for Corbin. It was totally down his alley. I would give him the most technical performance of the night with sharp footwork, strong lines, dynamical changes between a more traditional Cha Cha and more of a hip hop (what Len called “gyrations”). I really don’t have much to criticize here . It was fun and cute and very clean.
Team Spooky Bom Bom: That was so spooky cool and fun! I loved the whole glamour, zombie look. My hat is off to the hair and makeup and wardrobe departments for the look. The whole team is getting the best dressed celebrities.
Team Foxing Awesome: That was slightly delirious and crazy, but kind of awesome. It was like Carrie Ann said, an “acid trip” (I can only imagine a 5-year-old asking, “Mom, what’s an acid trip?”). I do feel that even though the idea and execution were great on Team Foxing Awesome, Team Spooky Bom Bom could have gotten the same score from the judges. The execution of both team dances was equally entertaining, so both teams get the best performances of the night and the best choreography of the night.