I think there is a theme tonight, but maybe not. Maybe between Disney last week and Halloween coming up next week, the wardrobe and set design departments needed a light week. Let’s see how our nine contestants are doing, shall we?
Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (25) They had a neon-hued quickstep to “Take on Me”. It was a clever routine, and super fast, but it looked a bit out of sync. Len liked that her left hand wasn’t clinging to Sasha (meaning she was a pretty strong partner) and the dance was full of energy. Bruno said it was bright and enthusiastic, but lost a bit of synchronicity. Carrie Anne admires her growth in the competition.
Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov (27) They had a very dramatical Viennese Waltz to “I Have Nothing”. It’s lovely and triumphant, even though Kate still struggles just a bit to keep that kind of a character. Tom greets her when she’s done with “Who are you?”. Bruno calls it tasteful and really, really good. Carrie Ann says the hard work pays off. Len says he is a “happy chappy” because Pasha added a fleckle among the other natural turns, and since it turns out Kate spent the week battling vertigo, it’s all the more impressive.
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (26) Wow, what a great quickstep! It was thoroughly enjoyable, moreso that Ally’s to me. Carrie Ann says they have an ease to them as a partnership. Len thought it was terrific but there was an error (Witney says it was her fault because she tripped on her dress, and then Len makes a horse and jockey analogy that baffles me). Bruno says Kel is a full time dancer, that it was light, fast paced and “tricksy”. (Is he Gollum?)
Karamo and Jenna Johnson (25) After a touching backstory about the years of estrangement he experienced with his dad, he dances a contemporary routine dedicated to his dad, who is in the audience. It’s extremely dramatic and Karamo loses himself in the character. Len calls it fluid, saying the lifts were great. He says there was light and shade. Bruno liked the focus and intention, and loved that after all these weeks, Karamo had no self doubt, was truthful and expressive. Carrie Ann admires the love, passion, and connection on display.
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (24) Here’s something you don’t see very often; a country samba. Alan opens shirt at the end…yowza. Thanks, Alan. Saying they brought “Brazil to Nashville”, Bruno praises Hannah’s correct Samba motion but says she lost the bounce a little. Carrie Ann says Hannah was just ahead of the beat. Len says it was not an easy routine, with lots of content, but it needed more hip action.
Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy (27) They do a jive to Wham! and it’s cute and quirky. Sailor did a great job of adding some fun character flourishes to the routine.Carrie Ann calls it amazing. Len calls it “full of Wham” and personality. Bruno prances a bit doing a Sailor impression in his crushed velvet jacket.
Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold (21) Unlike Kate earlier, this Viennese Waltz is wooden, robotic and painful. Even the way he gives his wife roses seems badly choreographed, or at least badly executed. Len admires his tenacity. Bruno calls him brave, but says he looked like a tumbleweed. Carrie Ann calls it “tenderness.” I call it barf.
James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (27) Just as sure as the sun rises in the east, James comes to play and just kills this samba. It looked super bouncy to me!! James looks like he’s been dancing professionally here, so at ease is he with the intricacies of the routine. Bruno says he has loose, flexible hips. Carrie Ann can only manage “ridiculous” and Len utters are phrase I never want to hear again: “Tutti frutti what a booty!”
Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (26) Apparently, this is the one year anniversary of the death of Lauren’s stepdad to a cancer that progressed from diagnosis to death in mere months. She explains how close they were and how happy he made her mother in a way that is so obviously real and touching. The dance is a contemporary to her own song that is written to honor him. Lauren is emotional the whole time and I was sobbing along with her. Carrie Ann said she should be proud of herself for showcasing her bravery and raw emotion. Len agrees. Bruno says it was sad but admired the love, truth, and honesty of the performance.
Once Lauren, Karamo, Kate, Kel, James, SEAN, and Hannah are saved, we are left with a ridiculous bottom two of Sailor and Ally. I haven’t taken a particular shine to either of them as a fan (which I suppose is the problem), but they are so many light years ahead of Pinnochio Von Crowd Size back there that this is once again the unfair result of a very flawed voting system. Carrie Ann votes to keep Ally, Bruno agrees and Sailor dissolves into tears, clearly surprised to be in this position after a great night. See what you’ve done Sean Spicer???? I honestly think this should probably be one of the articles of impeachment. This is absurd. I guess you can pencil that little dork in for the finals. Shoot me now.