I Don't Like Mondays
The judges have a case of the Mondays as they trot out low score after low score during partner-swap week.
The couples are mixing it up this week, with each star getting a new pro partner based on how the viewing audience voted. I like the concept, and I'm most interested to see how Jonathan does. I have always theorized that he would do better with someone other than Allison.
Jessie J is the guest judge and performer this week, and it continues to bug that they book judges who know nothing about dancing, mostly because most of her comments seem to be, "Wow, that looked really hard" or "You seem to be having fun out there." If I want uninformed dancing opinions, I'll just…read my own articles, I guess. Here are your rankings:
9. Jonathan Bennett and Peta: Jitterbug
There are a LOT of steps in this routine, and Jonathan misses more than a few of them. He nearly rises to the challenge posed by additional content, though. I think if Peta had taken out just a little bit of the extra content, he would have nailed it. It was on the verge of being a mess a few times. The judges point out that there were moments of greatness, but most of the time they were cringing because they felt like something was about to go horribly wrong. Score: 24/40.
8. Michael Waltrip and Witney: Disco
I'll say this for Michael: he performed way better than I thought he could, and in a routine with a ton of content, he only missed a few moves. That said, he seemed to get tired as the routine went on, and started half-assing his moves. The judges are basically like, "We get that you're funny and having fun, but we need to see you try to actually dance now or it's time to go home and stop taking the spot of a deserving dancer." Score: 20/40. Wow, those were low scores.
7. Tommy Chong and Emma: Mambo
This is the slowest mambo of all time. Tommy is very casual in his movements, which can sometimes come across as graceful and easy, but other times as lackadaisical. Also, Tommy doesn't do a whole lot of dancing; he mostly just stands still while Emma dances around him. Score: 23/40.
6. Antonio Sabato Jr. and Alison: Bollywood
Antonio once again looks like he's having a great time, but he seems less sure of his moves this week; he's really looking to Alison to see what to do next. And she has Ballas disease: she needs to match her dancing to her partner, because if she dances as well as she can, it just makes him look worse in comparison. I don't think she has the knack yet of showing off her partner instead of just choreographing an interesting routine. They end on a high note with Antonio hanging from a rope on one arm and flying into the air. The judges point out the missteps, but Carrie Ann is happy that Antonio seems to be taking their advice. Score: 28/40. Jessie J gave the lowest score, a 6. That was surprising; usually the guest judges are right in line with the regular judges, or even higher, but never lower.
5. Janel Parrish and Artem: Burlesque
How do you even dance burlesque with a partner? This is weird. It's a stripper routine, right down to the lap dance. Janel performs it well, but it's just not my favorite type of dance. There are a bunch of lifts at the end that don't go particularly well and it makes me nervous that Janel's going to get dropped on her head. As for the judges, Julianne points out that burlesque should have a little more sauciness and tease. And Julianne should know; she was in the Cher/Christina Aguilera movie. Score: 33/40.
4. Lea Thompson and Val: Broadway
It's different than anything we've seen before, with the theme of Lea being a nurse in a nursing home and Val being a patient. I'll give them points for originality. As for the actual dancing? I think Lea can do more than what Val gave her. She's a great dancer and the moves seemed very basic. Score: 34/40.
3. Bethany Mota and Mark: Hip-Hop
I don't love this routine and I can't pinpoint why (other than the obvious Ballas influence). It's almost too harsh, like Bethany is attacking the moves too hard? She's right on the beat and she doesn't miss any steps, and she throws everything she has into it. The judges seem really pleased with the routine, especially considering that she had a new partner. Score: 32/40.
2. Sadie Robertson and Derek: Charleston
This is an awesome Charleston. It's set to modern music and has modern movements, but still rooted in the Charleston. Sadie doesn't miss a beat, although there is something…less than graceful about her leg movements at times. I don't know if it's because she doesn't point her toes, or the thing I've mentioned before where she has these crazy long legs and hasn't quite figured out how to move them well yet. But overall, it was a really fun routine to watch. Score: 36/40.
1. Alfonso Ribeiro and Cheryl: Flamenco
The roll-in package reveals that Cheryl has a filthy mouth. I knew I liked her. Cheryl wisely lets Alfonso start the routine solo, and he's flawless. He woke up like this. Well, probably not wearing the Seinfeld puffy shirt. But he's got the attitude and the attack and he doesn't miss a step. The only room I see for improvement is in his arms and hands. Score: 34/40. Wow, I thought the scores would be higher.
To make the partner swap fair, there is no elimination this week! But the scores tonight will count towards next week's elimination.