“Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower blogs on season 17 of the hit ABC show. Hightower gives her take on the dances, the judges’ scores, and the eliminations. You can find her on Twitter @chelsiehightowr.
Well, America, here we are again, starting our week of right with a little “Dancing” and a special surprise of Cher herself as a guest judge in the ballroom. (I’ll know I’ve truly made it one day when all I have to go by is “Chelsie.” One can dream, right?) Anyway it’s exciting to have Cher in the ballroom not just because she is well, Cher, but because she is an iconic performer so it will be great to hear her take on the performances tonight. So let’s get on it!
Corbin Bleu: The Argentine tango is one of my favorite dance as it is the epitome of passion and heat mixed with sensuality. There is no doubt Corbin is a great dancer and he shows that in this dance with Karina through his natural fluid movements and crisp, clean footwork. If I had one critique, I would have liked to have seen this routine slow down a bit more at times and really create the sultry tension that the Argentine tango is known for. But either way, this was a fantastic dance! 9.2.
Leah Remini: Leah and Tony’s start off their Viennese waltz as if they are in a coffee shop (because we all wear ballroom gowns to a coffee shop waiting to meet our prince charming and break out in dance, right? Or is that just me?). Leah is one of the competitors this season who truly didn’t know she could dance, and is finding out that she has a natural talent for it, which makes her so fun to root for. She did a fine job with this Viennese waltz! There was a beautiful fluidity and gracefulness throughout. I do agree with Bruno; she could have focused more on stretching her lines and elongating her back. Otherwise, Great job, Leah! 8.
Brant Daugherty: Next, Brant and Peta with the Foxtrot. Brant doesn’t hesitate to whip out his hip gyrations again except this time, it’s actually right in front of Bruno’s face, (which I don’t think Bruno could have been more excited about). Back to the dance, Brant has very nice posture, never losing his carriage, and as usual he had great lines and of course, a great smile. (Smile for us. Brant.) It’s hard to critic the foxtrot technique in this because there wasn’t much foxtrot content to critic. Not a huge improvement from the previous weeks so since he’s been doing great all along, this was another great dance!! 8.5!
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: Val and Elizabeth up next with a Jazz. “Showgirls” is not my kind of movie per se, but I have seen a few clips and judging by the dancing she executed in that movie, I figured this jazz would suit her very well. And that it did! Elizabeth had great movement. It was hard hitting and stylistic, which appears to come naturally to her. I agree with Carrie-Ann’s critique; I would have liked to have seen more highs and lows — or what we call in dance “dynamics.” Other than that I really, really liked this dance! I’d give her a 10 based on commitment and effort, but an 8.6 based on dancing. Well done!
Bill Engvall: Bill did not disappoint when it came to the entertainment factor of this dance! I had a smile on my face the whole time. Bill has the ability to make you forget that he is not a good dancer and absolutely fall in love with him because of his attitude and childlike joy out there on the dance floor. That in and of itself is worth 10 points!! But unfortunately I’m judging the dancing, so I give it a 7.8.
Jack Osbourne: I love seeing Jack express his love for this journey and really get into dancing. I get it Jack, dancing is infectious! The International Tango is known for its sharp movements and staccato footwork. Yes, he was very smooth and I didn’t find any glaring criticism, but I would have liked to have seen those sharp movements in his upper body and staccato footwork that the Tango requires. But either way, I still got so much love for ya, Jack-o!
Amber Riley: Last up! Derek Hough and Amber Riley! They start off the dance by bringing six sexy sailors onto the dance floor and just when I thought Bruno’s excitement couldn’t get any higher, Amber takes Derek’s shirt off. (Well played Derek, well played). This dance was well performed and well choreographed. Cha-cha and rumba technique are very similar, so comparing this dance to Amber’s cha-cha in week 1, she didn’t have the same refinement through her technique. It’s fair to say this wasn’t her best dance. If I were Derek, I would simplify it a bit more and focus on getting the same product he got out of her the first week. Simple and effective, works like a charm. But like I said, GREAT over-all performance quality. 9!
The Elimination: Young female hearts probably broke all across America tonight as we said goodbye to Brant and his Colgate commercial-worthy smile. Walk away with your head held high, Brant! You’ve done a spectacular job on the show and look at it this way: you’ll now never have a problem getting a date again with those hip gyrations as a secret weapon. (As if that was ever a problem for you in the first place!) But seriously, I am excited to see where your career takes you. Great job to both Peta and Brant this season!
Until next week!
Thanks for reading guys! Follow me on Twitter @chelsiehightowr.
Favorite performance: Bill and Emma; Brant and Peta
Favorite choreography: Val and Derek
Most-Technically Perfect: Corbin Bleu
Best Costume: Cheryl Burke