By Jamie Fromberger
WATE's Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars Super Blogger
The semifinals are here and we are down to five celebrities remaining, with a daunting double elimination hanging over their heads. Tonight will be the last time two of these couples embrace the dance floor, and this meant giving every bit of "umph" to their performances and leaving lasting impressions on their faithful fans.
Given the task of yet another random fusion dance, these folks were asked to mix what Derek referred to as the equivalent of "mustard and ice cream." For the couples that may have not successfully danced their fusion to praise worthy standards, there was also a second dance that each team had to choreograph and perform as their last breath of hope in sticking around, as a tribute to Michael Jacksons Bad album.
Kicking us off and yet again taking ownership of the night was Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani. With their first dance, they were given the challenge of performing a "caveman hustle," which left Tony dumbfounded and frustrated trying to choreograph a routine that couldn't be performed to perfection, yet still had to look perfect.
I personally adored the dance, as well as their outfits. Although Melissa may not have hit each move precisely, she had unbelievable control, a smile on her face, and sista broke it down to the ground with some major hip action and pelvic thrusts. While they may have only received a score of 27.5 for this routine, their Michael Jackson tribute to Dirty Diana had them raking in 10s across the board. Her dance was flawless, and her legs seem to go to the ceiling.
You'd never know Tony was on the brink of missing this performance due to a back injury by the way he flung her around his body, tossed her in the air, and held her seamlessly in positions that made my body ache to just watch. This dance alone could have them crowned the winners, and allow Melissa to have a shiny mirror ball trophy atop her Christmas tree this year.
Going second for the night, and placing a close second on my list of favorites were Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough. They seemed to pull an opposite performance ratio with their first dance of "Bhangra" having sensational reviews, and finally leaving Shawn out of breath. The movements were so fast it would be insane to not fall or just lay down in the fetal position midway through to take a nap, but this lady kept strong through the entire grueling 90 seconds. Her leg muscles were practically popping out of her skin by the end. They earned the glamorous 10s across the board as well with this dance, and hopefully gave Shawn a bit of encouragement for her worriedness about losing yet another "comeback."
While her first dance rocked my socks off, her second dance was a little less impressive when following Melissa's Argentine Tango. Let's be clear. Shawn danced her Argentine Tango beautifully, but putting her back to back with her equivalent of a competitor meant that only one of them could win the votes in my book.
With that being said, the Dancing with the Stars producers set the other three teams up for failure by having them go after Melissa and Shawn. Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff are barely hanging on, and their first dance made me question yet again why Gilles got sent home last week and they are still sticking around. Their footing was off, they had quite a few mishaps, and Karina just doesn't keep up with the other professional dancers when it comes to choreography.
She spoke in their "behind the scenes" footage about how important stunts and lifts were, yet I failed to see anything that impressed me or even faintly resembled an impressive trick. Their Michael Jackson tribute was slightly better, however I'm pretty confident that it's not going to be enough to keep them around tomorrow night and will have them headed "home for the holidays" in the least enjoyable way.
Going with them? I'm torn between Kelly Monaco and Emmitt Smith. Rather than question which celeb is the better dancer, I'm questioning which is worse, as in neither are good enough to be sticking around this week in my opinion, so I have to look at who is "baddest" of the "bad." I don't mean that as a fun play on words for MJ's music. How crazy that is, because Emmitt kicked this competition off with sparks and left me confident in his ability. Heck, Kelly had me pegging her for the win for weeks on end. But tonight's performances were a big disappointment.
While Kelly and Val attempted the "surfer flamenco," all I saw was a reference to a flamingo and a toucan in her outfit and awful gladiator shoes. Their strip down to a swim suit and Speedos was entertaining, but in no way did it fit in to their performance. Splashing water around looked a little childlike in comparison to some of the other routines.
Their romantic rumba was a tad better, but for eight weeks straight we've heard of her "shyness and awkwardness" with showing intimacy, and it's starting to resemble the noises Charlie Brown's little friend makes when he talks. "Wha Wha Whaaaaa." They obviously have no issues with "intimacy" because they are on each other like white on rice and have incorporated a small make out session in to each dance. So let's move away from the quiet school girl with sensitivity issues, and take the dance floor like the fierce cougar she really is.
As for Emmitt, his second routine was hands down better than his first one, but to be quite honest I think the man is just getting tired. Tired of being there, tired of all these crazy moves, tired of Cheryl, and tired in the literal sense of he wants to curl up in bed and sleep for weeks on end. His charisma is fading, and his energy is dwindling, and we aren't seeing that loveable side of him we used to see.
His technique and ability have plateau'd in the past few weeks, and if there was any hope of him showing improvement or coming from behind, tonight was the night to do it. Unfortunately for him, he as well left me bored and "meh." If that's a real emotion, based off his performance. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he too was sent "home for the holidays."
Remember though, we saw a shocking elimination last week of Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd, as well as Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, so if you have a favorite then you absolutely positively without a doubt must pick up your phone and call, text or Facebook your votes in. It's the only way to keep them around, friends. The judges can flash their shiny paddleboards with numbers of their opinions as much as they want. What really matters is what the fans want and WHO they want, so vote! Vote! Vote!
Until next time...
I am writing this blog as the winner of WATE's Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars Super Blogger Contest. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of WATE, ABC, Dancing with the Stars or any related persons.