" 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.
Click HERE to See Who Was Eliminated in Week 9 of 'DWTS'
It was an exciting night as the couples took on two dances for the first time this season. Each of the couples for the most part came out on top. In interest of time I'm only going to blog on half of the dances.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: Elizabeth and Val Chmerkovskiy danced to one of the songs of the summer with a very inventive concept of a bride and groom. The Viennese Waltz is timed in counts of six, but this song is timed in counts of eight, leaving Val with quite the challenge as he had to choreograph steps to music that doesn't match. So it's no surprise that there were moments of "jerkiness" as Carrie Ann described it. And it wasn't as "flowy" as Len would have liked to see. Ultimately I think it was a very good piece from top to bottom. Elizabeth has showed us some great routines 8.5.
Amber Riley : Mark Ballas and Derek Hough are both incredibly creative choreographers so it's always fun to see when they get to work together. I really liked this salsa routine with its influence of the hip-hop, showcasing what Amber does best. Amber could be a bit sharper and more precise with her moves at times. Other than that great job!! 9.7.
Corbin Bleu: A Jazz routine from Corbin, Karina and Whitney. No doubt this was an amazing number. It is definitely Corbin's best style and showcases his experience. (Of course, this is a constant topic raised by fans - whether or not that is fair to have people with experience competing with beginners). The answer is, it's not. But then again, you always have to take a step back and realize it is TV. And in TV, anything goes, for the better and for the worse. I'll save that debate for another date because I don't want to take away from this superb number that was performed with such quality and charisma. I mean really, there is nothing negative to say about it. Just that it was an excellent number! Great job to all three of you! 10.
Jack Osbourne: I loved Jack, Cheryl, and Sharna's incredibly gimmicky Samba. This was one of my favorite performances by Jack! He came to life this week in a way that I haven't seen from him before. If we are talking about technique, there is room for improvement, but the technicalities were hardly noticeable because of all the good things happening in this number, including two beautiful woman and an outrageous amount of "winky" faces performed by Jack, (which I happened to love). Great job Jack-O! 8.5.
Leah Remini: Leah, Tony and Henry tried their best to impersonate the beloved "Dancing With the Stars" judges in this routine. This gives me and idea: what if after the judges give the dancers a score, the dancers then gave them a score based on their judging?! Now could be great TV! But it could also get ugly based on the irritation usually expressed behind the scenes by the contestants and dancers alike. Yeah, maybe not the best idea…. Anyway,sorry for the tangent, back to the dancing! This was a very fun routine with a lot going on - so much so that it was, at times, hard to see Leah. Still, one thing she always does well is perform like a true professional. There wasn't one moment in this dance where I caught her looking uncomfortable or where she was not in character, and that factor alone goes a long, long way. Great job Leah!
Bill Engvall: I don't care what they say, I really liked the concept of this salsa routine from Bill and Emma with an assist from Peta. Bill did a fine job, although there was only a small amount of salsa content. Bruno really came down on him tonight when talking about the rhythm and timing. Yes, that's important, but let's look at it for what it is: Bill is a true beginner. He is not a natural born dancer, and he didn't come into this with any prior experience like some of his competitors did. Now I'm not giving him a pass, but come on, some of this is like trying to fit a square block into a round hole. Anyway, the point is, I really do think Bill is trying his hardest every week and is improving, and that's all you can ask for. Great job Bill! 7.6.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: Last, but never least, Elizabeth, Val, and Gleb took to the floor with the salsa. (How did Elizabeth concentrate while dancing with two this week? I'm not gonna lie, I really wouldn't mind being in that room. Sigh, the dancing!) WOW!! This was a really great job by Elizabeth! Did she even stop once throughout the whole routine? Great spins and some of the best hip-action I've ever seen by a celebrity on this show. That was crazy, and crazy-awesome. Very, very, VERY nice job Elizabeth and no doubt one of your absolute best numbers! 10.
The Elimination: We saw Elizabeth get sent home. I'm sure I can speak for everyone that we are all sad to see Elizabeth go, and especially on one of her best weeks. But look on the positive side - at least she is going home on a high note. I'll echo Val's words to Elizabeth in saying: it's not always about the trophy, it's about the person you become in the process to get there. That's what really matters. Walk away with your head held high Elizabeth, you were great this season and you have so much to be proud of.