DwtS 4, Week 5: A Second Opinion

It’s full speed ahead for the leading DwtS couples. This week’s routines confirmed which four pairs are sharing the pole position in this race to claim the show’s grand prize: that fugly mirror ball trophy. Here’s my two cents worth on Week 5’s Performance Show.

The Incredibles

Apolo & Julianne
A sizzling routine from the Disney duo! This couple certainly had a tiger in their tank tonight. Their high energy Samba was rhythmic, polished, and filled with captivating moves. An enchanting performance from the first roar. Apolo looked relaxed, enthusiastic and totally prepared to live life on the wild side – a real party animal!

It’s no surprise that the judges were enthralled with their performance. However, a perfect score at the Week 5 mark is going to be difficult to maintain. Still, Apolo and his partner continue to make tracks directly towards the winner’s circle. Some of the remaining couples may need to renew their hunting permits if they hope to catch this swift-footed twosome.

Joey & Kym

An impressive story-centric Rumba from Jokester Joey. This couple’s dance was strong, smooth and romantic. Once again, Joey’s fluid hand and arm movements convincingly captured the sensuality of the dance. In addition, Kym’s choreography was beautifully synchronized to their musical selection. Except for Joey’s too-short pants, a few questionably effeminate dance moves, and his slightly over-dramatized performance, I thoroughly enjoyed this number.

I particularly relished Joey’s response to Len’s criticism when he playfully exposed his more feminine persona in his backstage chat with Samantha. Joey is clearly skilled at turning a bad review into a positive experience. Some of the other celebs should take a page from his book in learning how to constructively handle negative reviews. This team remains a popular choice thanks to both their dancing abilities and their charming behind-the-scenes personalities. Onward and upward are my marching orders for this pair.

Ian & Cheryl
Ian retains his title of Mr. Consistency again this week. Despite Cheryl’s frustration with Ian’s initial reluctance to embrace her Samba choreography, this couple managed to pull off a competent routine. Ian’s performance included lots of hip action, some Grade A shoulder shimmying, and an enjoyable balance of moving and stationary footwork. Although Ian’s arms were not as fully extended as they could have been, and there were several unsynchronized steps, overall, their dance was polished and entertaining.

I concur with Carrie Ann’s opinion that Ian’s confidence is visibly lacking on the dance floor. He needs to fully commit to his performance before this couple can hope to pull in the higher marks. Still, this week’s Samba was more than adequate enough for this couple to safely sashay through to the next round.

Laila & Maks
Ready, Set, Rumba! This royal pair resoundedly reclaimed their throne with tonight’s hot, sexy, titillating performance. This couple delivered a strong, smoldering routine that contained all the expected Rumba elements: slow seductive movements, sensual walks, and romantic interplay. Laila’s facial expressions were much more attuned to the dance this week, convincing the audience to buy into the performance portion of her routine.

Tonight’s Rumba was the breakout number that this duo so desperately needed. And the comical behind-the-scenes footage with Laila’s vigilant fiancé, Curtis, was priceless! I loved Maks’ acknowledgement of Curtis’ presence in the audience, and I commend Laila for her ability to commit to the performance, while her sweetheart attentively observed her dance floor antics.

Two Weeks Notice

Heather & Jonathan
A fun, committed performance from DwtS’ s physically challenged celebrity. Does anyone else find it remarkable that Heather’s Samba covered far more of the dance floor than our resident NBA champ’s routine, despite his extra long strides? While Heather’s costume may have been rather nauseating (to put it mildly) her footwork, swaying hips, and shoulder shimmies were competently executed. Other than her embarrassing tumble at the end of the dance, only a few of Heather’s moves jarred the fluidity of their routine. Kudos to Jonathan for once again successfully choreographing an innovative number that showcased his partner’s strengths. 

Watching this couple, I have the distinct impression that they don’t skimp on their practice time. Their dances are always synchronized, polished, and joyful. Heather’s diligence has earned her the right to confidently step forward to the next phase of the competition. She just has to watch out for the oil slicks along the way!

John & Edyta
An entertaining but weak performance from Cheers’ Cliffy. John’s Samba was heavy on the carnival theme — flavoured with disco elements and filled with infectious party spirit — but noticeably lacking in dance substance. His upper body was too loose, his footwork messy, and his steps too bouncy. With Edyta on the floor, I often find it difficult to concentrate on what John is doing. I wonder if the judges are afflicted in the same way.

I admire John’s obvious effort at being both a conscientious participant in this season’s show and at enjoying the experience while it lasts. John’s days may be numbered, but the audience continues to appreciate his weekly presence. I hope that his more senior supporters burn the midnight oil ranking up enough votes to keep him around for another week. While John may not run with the pack leaders, he delivers an entertaining warm-up act.

Intolerable Cruelty

Clyde & Elena
Worse than last week, if that’s possible. Clyde’s sanitized Rumba was boring, unromantic, and an opponent’s end of the basketball court away from being seductive – and that’s being generous! I don’t know who Len was watching but it certainly wasn’t the same Clyde that walked danced across my television screen. I hardly know where to begin in my criticism of his performance. Let’s just say that Carrie Ann certainly proved the old adage that it’s cruel to be kind when she labeled Clyde "the worst dancer in the competition."

Although Clyde clearly doesn’t lack in self-confidence, it’s too bad his assuredness doesn’t extend to his moves on the dance floor. Clyde seems to dance smaller every week. His arm movements are hesitant and under-extended, his footwork is appalling, and his hip rolls are non-existent. There’s no more time left on the clock for this competitor. Clyde has become just too painful to watch! Let’s show Elena some compassion and free her from having to coach this goliath for another week.

Billy Ray Cyrus & Karina
Another dismal effort from the Country Kid. Billy Ray’s Rumba had nothing to do with love – a blatant dig at their song choice – and everything to do with "salt." According to Bruno, Karina was playing the "pillar of salt" role this week — as demonstrated by the lack of romantic interplay between Karina and Billy Ray throughout their entire dance.

Surprisingly,  none of the judges commented about Billy Ray’s mostly stationary position throughout much of the routine. He barely moved from the center of the dance floor, and his footwork couldn’t have been any simpler. Karina carried their whole performance. Unfortunately for Billy Ray, not only was his brain fried this week, thanks to his overloaded schedule (no sympathy from this quadrant), but so was his rendition of the Rumba. I, for one, would welcome having the lights permanently turned off on this duo.

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