“Dancing With the Stars” Week 2 Review

Remember, this is only a summary of my complete review. The entire review will be posted on our website at www.emotionsdancesport.com/dancing-with-the-stars-professional-reviews.htm by Wednesday morning.

Review Summary

On Week 2 of Season 12’s Dancing With the Stars, the eleven contestants had to battle it out while performing the Jive and the Quickstep. Both of these dances are very physically challenging. As last week was just the premiere episode, no contestants were kicked off in between these two weeks. Tomorrow, the first star/pro team will be saying their farewells, which in essence means the show will get a little easier to watch.

As for a little background of the two dances we watched, I’ll start with the Quickstep. In the Standard 5-dance round, Quickstep is the final dance, designed to test the competitors’ endurance. Foxtrot, the Standard dance we watched last week, is the fourth dance (normally, except at the British Open Championships in Blackpool, England, the world’s most prestigious competition, where Foxtrot and Tango are swapped in the lineup).

Like Quickstep, Jive is placed at the end of the Latin 5-dance round, also designed to test the competitors’ endurance. Most often, Cha Cha (last week’s dance) is performed first.

And on to the competitors. Like last week, I will critique the Latin competitors first, from order of lowest score to highest. For our first set:

Dancing the Jive

Mike and Lacey

Score: Carrie Ann=6, Len=5, Bruno=6 for a total of 17 and a grand total of 30

I’d have to say he’s improved a lot. His posture is better and he didn’t look so awkward in his dance shoes. However, he still has a lot of work to do. His feet are terribly turned in, so much so that I found myself watching his toes instead of his kicks. He also had a difficult time performing some basic figures.

Chelsea and Mark

Score: Carrie Ann=6, Len=5, Bruno=7 for a total of 18 and a grand total of 39

I can hardly say anything about Chelsea. She performed her choreography very well, hit all of the lines, basically did everything she was supposed to do. In fact, she didn’t make any mistakes. Good job. So why the low score?

Honestly, it’s her teacher’s fault. Mark, once again, failed to choreograph a dance and choreographed the song instead.

Petra and Dmitry

Score: Carrie Ann=6, Len=6, Bruno=6 for a total of 18 and a grand total of 36

I want to like Petra. I really do. She’s beautiful in a natural sort of way. The ‘40s look really suits her, and she’s got these beautiful limbs that seem like they should just float in the air. But then she starts dancing, and I can’t help it. I simply don’t enjoy watching her.

Sugar Ray and Anna

Score: Carrie Ann=6, Len=5, Bruno=6 for a total of 17 and a grand total of 34

Sugar Ray did a very good Jive. But than a good Jive, he truly excels at the Boogie Woogie. He can really “get down with it”! He is a lot of fun to watch, not just because he dances better than he looks like he should, but because his face shows us how much fun he’s having while he’s dancing. Unfortunately for Sugar Ray (and for Carrie Ann), you get judged on how you dance, not how much fun your face is having.

Ralph and Karina

Score: Carrie Ann=7, Len=7, Bruno=7 for a total of 21 and a grand total of 45

Ralph’s Jive was by far the best dance of the night. He was highly underrated by our three stooges behind the desk. His Jive actually looked like the sort of Jive you would see on the competition floor. Where Romeo and Hines both looked like syllabus level dancers, Ralph could easily have held his own in a Pre-Championship competition.

Dancing the Quickstep

Wendy and Tony

Score: Carrie Ann=6, Len=5, Bruno=6 for a total of 17 and a grand total of 31

She has really improved a lot. Her posture looks better, she is lighter on her feet, and she is carrying her spine straighter. Her improvement reflects in her score. Tony is doing a very good job with her. Unfortunately, in ballroom dancing, we are most often judged by our faults, not our improvements.

Kendra and Louis

Score: Carrie Ann=7, Len=6, Bruno=6 for a total of 19 and a grand total of 37

There were no surprises here for Kendra’s Quickstep. She looked pretty much as I expected her to look – like a Bronze level dancer. (For those who don’t know, Bronze is the first level in competition, followed by Silver and Gold; Novice, Pre-Champ, and Championship make up the Open levels.)

Kirstie and Maks

Score: Carrie Ann=7, Len=6, Bruno=7 for a total of 20 and a grand total of 41

Suffice it to say, Kirstie was not as good in her Quickstep as she was in her Cha Cha. She was far too upright in her upper back, giving me the impression that she was resting her cheek on Maks’s shoulder the whole time. In her frame, her right arm remained lifted and poised, but her left elbow continuously drooped below Maks’s arm like a soggy, wilted flower.

Chris and Cheryl

Score: Carrie Ann=8, Len=7, Bruno=8 for a total of 23 and a grand total of 42

I was so shocked with Chris’s performance. He had a complete turnabout from last week! I was expecting his frame to be strained and up around his ears, but he managed to keep a more relaxed shoulder-line. Normally men have a more difficult time with Standard rather than Latin, but Chris seems to be the exception.

Hines and Kym

Score: Carrie Ann=8, Len=7, Bruno=8 for a total of 23 and a grand total of 44

I am impressed with Hines. He is surprisingly light on his feet for a football player. That said, I don’t think he deserved the score he got. I would have given him a score around 20 or so, but he got 23, and tied for the highest score of the night. Yes, I said he is light on his feet, but that is for what I know of football players. He is still a heavy dancer, with cowboy legs and flat feet.

Romeo and Chelsea

Score: Carrie Ann=7, Len=8, Bruno=8 for a total of 23 and a grand total of 42

I was very impressed with Romeo. I was expecting him to not be able to hold a frame. As it was, he did a nice job keeping his shoulders down and his elbows up. That said, there were some things that bothered me. The most annoying thing about Romeo was his flat-footedness (as normal) and his right hand.

Conclusion

That wide gap between the best and the worst dancers is beginning to close. The scores are getting closer, but I don’t think the scores are a practical and honest representation of the differences between the dancers. The scores tell us that Chris Jericho looked BETTER than Ralph in every way. So did Hines. So did Romeo. And both Bruno and Carrie Ann though Ralph and Kirstie deserved the same scores. Carrie Ann thought Ralph and Kendra deserved the same score. There is an inherent problem with this. My guess is that Ralph ended up looking better than anyone expected, so in order to level the playing field, the producers told the judges to bash Ralph down and bring up the unexpected couples.

Remember, for the full review, check back on our website Wednesday morning, at www.emotionsdancesport.com/dancing-with-the-stars-professional-reviews.htm where you can read my critiques for the stars, the pros, and the judges all in one place.

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About korastoynova

With my husband, Simeon Stoynov, I travel the world in pursuit of our dreams, of which we have many. And, thankfully, all of our dreams are within our reach. We have made sure of it. From our lives as competitive ballroom dancers, a life which has taken us around the world and back, to my struggles to becoming an author, to Simeon's love of business, we have learned what it means to sacrifice, to apply ourselves with discipline, and to enjoy the journey to success. Our lives truly are made of the stuff of dreams.
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