“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.
Click HERE to See Who Was Eliminated in Week 9 of ‘DWTS’
The Routines (Individual, Trio)
Amber Riley: Working through an injury is a tough thing for a dancer, especially when you don’t get any time off. Considering all that, Amber did great with her quickstep. The routine was very clean and straight to the point. I think she did the best that she could. Having said that, I agree with the judges’ comments that it needs polishing. This girl is so capable that we naturally want to see more.
Her salsa is the dance that got all the audience on their feet! Amber is such an amazing performer, that she can really let it go in a dance like the salsa, as she did! It was a really fun routine with Derek and Mark. It was playful and silly at times, but spot-on musically and stylistically. That was the best performance of the night.
Corbin Bleu: That was really beautiful choreography for a waltz. I love Corbin’s dancing and his ability to switch gears. He hit the character just right. My criticism this week is that he doesn’t use heel leads at all and, therefore, sometimes is not able to sustain the fullness of music. But, I agree with the judges’ comment on ‘poetry in motion.’
Corbin’s jazz was a total pro routine! I can see this on Broadway any day. It was very Fosse but with some modern twists and old-school throwbacks to tap. A great interpretation and truly nothing to pick on. He got well-deserved scores and praises from the judges. That was the best choreography of the night.
Bill Engvall: It was another cute, fun and heartwarming routine. In the Charleston, Bill really went for the humor aspect, which was perfect. We love funny Bill. Technically, he was “waiting around” in between moves and not flowing through them but, on the upside, the tricks were executed clearly and safely. No matter what this man does it brings a huge smile to my face.
That was a salsa from a candy store. It was totally cooky but somehow enthralling. It had no hip action and not too many actual salsa steps, but you just couldn’t stop watching it. Bill is not here because he’s a fantastic dancer, but he is “living every man’s dream” (as Carrie Ann mentioned). His Willy Wonka outfit gets the best costume of the night. The “most surprise” award of the week goes to Bill for staying in the game through to the semifinals. Yes to personality and humor.
Jack Osbourne: That was a beautiful dance from Jack. He had great posture, really strong frame and a very solid technique . Ballroom is definitely Jack’s style. He is improving so dramatically every week because he is concentrating on technique and hard work. He is getting more and more confident. Well done. He is the most improved celebrity week to week so far.
I love the concept of Jack’s samba routine. I’m glad they went the fun route with this song. Jack’s technique in Samba wasn’t quite spot-on. He needs to point his toes and learn how to isolate his hips from his torso. He got the bounce but because there were not enough other body rhythms going on it seemed a bit over-the- top sometimes. I do love Jack’s new found confidence. He decided to let it go and just commit 200 percent. Bravo for that!
Leah Remini: Leah did a really good, solid technique with this routine. She definitely is growing in her ability as a dancer. She had a strong frame and shapes. She still needs to work on speed in her footwork and her spins. I loved the focus and determination that she had in the Tango. It’s like she got herself in the zone. That got her to the next level.
Leah’s Jive was a really clever concept! Nobody ever poked quite the same way at the judges. Leah always stayed in character. Technically, it wasn’t the fastest Jive on the planet, but it was light on the feet and had good rhythmical changes. I like that she had enough basic steps in the dance along with all the fun gimmicks. Super witty!
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: I’m really impressed with Elizabeth’s improvement from the last time we’ve seen her in Ballroom style. She was so fluid and graceful in this Viennese waltz and had such a beautiful lyricism in her upper body and arms. It was just lovely. I also admire her for showing her softer side in this piece.
The salsa was a very strong routine from Elizabeth. It had a lot of real salsa content, all the way from side-by-side to intricate arm changes. She was on fire in that routine! I love how Elizabeth let loose and took control of both of her partners. She looked like she had fun. “It takes two to get you going” is the best or worst judge’s comment (you decide) from Bruno, got to love him.
I’m sorry to see Elizabeth go home. I have such admiration for her beauty, grace and talent .