“Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower weighs in on each of the week’s 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 @chelsiehightowr.
By CHELSIE HIGHTOWER
Latin Night Routines
Amy Purdy: Amy, you sassy, sexy thing, you! From her hip to her leg action, Amy’s technique was great in this rumba. I thought she danced with such confidence and grace tonight; it was a beautiful thing to see. Despite her ailments, Amy holds her own in this competition quite well. She dances so well we forget that she has a handicap. Awesome job, Amy!
James Maslow: I am more and more impressed with James as the weeks go by. At first he didn’t stand out to me, but frankly, he has proven himself. At the end of the night, his performance with partner Peta is the one you remember. That, in itself, testifies as to the package and product these two bring to the dance floor every week. (Of course, their chemistry doesn’t hurt!) Another high-energy, high chemistry, and all-around entertaining performance. Well done, guys!
Danica McKellar: Danica gets the “fighter” award for going on with her performance despite the show’s physician giving her the bad news she has a broken rib. Wow, I can’t imagine the pain that she must have suffered during her dance, so I give her extra points for that. And she gets double points for not exaggerating the situation to add unnecessary drama for the show’s sake. Injury aside, I thought she danced a fantastic dance! She looked hot and still wore that beautiful smile as she always does. As to her dance technique, I thought she could have kept the steps smaller and her movement tighter, which would have helped compensate for the injury. But despite the mishap, she still did a great job. Well done, Danica, you’re a fighter!
NeNe Leakes: What a showpiece this dance was! She’s one of the biggest personalities this show has ever had and I believe her longevity and success on this journey has been dependent on her playing up that role. And why not, she’s so good at it! The tough news on this dance is she needs to work on technique. The Argentine Tango is all about being smooth and subtle at times contrasted by crispness and sharpness at other times. The smoothness was evident, but I didn’t see the crispness. Still it was a fun dance. Well done, NeNe!
Charlie White: Charlie and Sharna danced a very cool and unconventional Paso Doble tonight. Overall I thought it was a fantastic performance. But since Charlie is naturally such a good dancer, the judges will be more critical of him. He always dances well, but there are times when he appears to wobble a bit and other times he just looks uncomfortable. If I were his partner, I would simplify the choreography and work on perfecting the subsequent simpler moves. Still, Charlie is performing brilliantly, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll bring next week.
Candace Cameron Bure: Candace performed a very beautiful Argentine Tango tonight. She was sharp and concise and spot-on for the most part. But because this style of dance is mostly about communicating sexiness and passion between the dancers, I would like to have seen more of that type connection between them. That would have put this dance over the top for me. I still thought this was Candace’s best executed dance so far. Great job!
Meryl Davis: This Salsa was fun, sassy and filed with very impressive lifts! When it comes to judging, the same goes for Meryl as I mentioned for Charlie; she is such a good dancer she is naturally held to a higher standard. Although she didn’t look as quite as crisp as she usually does Monday, I think it would have been better to have worn normal Latin heels instead of the sneakers. I know how hard it is to dance with those and they just don’t allow smooth and clean steps. Either way, it was still a very good dance. Well done!
Now, for one of my personal favorites: the Team Dances. Since it’s Latin night, I will be judging based on sexiness!
Team Vita: I liked this performance due to all of the smart moving parts with every transition, but I don’t want to focus on that as much as judging the dance on its sensuality and sex appeal. With that in mind, I would have to say that James was the sexy standout and gets a point just for that! Almost as impressive was Tony lifting NeNe at the end — or should I say NeNe straddling of Tony – which was borderline inappropriate. Because I’m feeling generous right now, I’ll give them a sexy point for that. All the girls get a sexy point because they were all smokin’ hot and so were their costumes.
Team Loca: I hate to say it, but when you have all four of these boys — Maks, Val, Derek and Mark — ending their dance shirtless, it can’t get much sexier than that! So, sorry Team Vita, this one has to go to Team Loca if for no other reason besides the shirtless thing. And as a bonus, it was a really great dance! It was a complete showpiece: tight, clean and clever. Great Job, way to bring the sexy back!
The Scores (Individual Routine, Group Dance)
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 39, 39: 78
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: 36, 39: 75
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: 36, 35: 71
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 35, 35: 70
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: 35, 39: 74
Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 33, 39: 72
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: 31, 35: 66 (Leakes was voted off tonight.)