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Cat’s looking hot as heck tonight, in a white, beaded sundress that looks inspired by Native American design.  Man, that is a beautiful outfit!  Just wanted to get that out first. Secondly, Redneck Woman is on the panel again.  Argh. 

#1: Musa and Natalie: Hip-Hop

Musa: Last week we had disco...this week we hopin’ for the Riverdance.
Music: Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado/Timabland

Natalie’s in a kind of neat costume tonight, more like street clothes than anything else (well, hip-hop usually does dress that way), but a very cool blended-colors tank top and decorated jean shorts, although they are SO short as to be nearly cheek-baring.  And knee-high boots.  I still don’t understand how anyone can dance in heels.  Anyway, it’s a kind of fun, hoppin’ dance, and Musa has some of the coolest moves ever – lots of tumbling with the feather-light landing, including his signature backflip/landing on his stomach with chin on folded arms, and a brand new one – backflip that turns into an upside-down splits in midair before he lands.  Okay, so I really suck at describing these moves, but trust me, it’s fun watching.

 Number-whoring seems to have lost its popularity; Natalie plays sex-kitten instead, trailing her finger down Musa’s chest with exaggerated fawning.  Annoying.  Musa is far more likable simply grinning at the audience.  He kinda reminds me of a tame lion – big and powerful, but easy-going.  Very friendly.  (well, compared to most big cats, lions are less apt than the others to explode without warning...yes this analogy is stupid.)

 

#2: Heidi and Ryan: Cha-Cha
Music: Sex Bomb – Tom Jones

 HOLY WOW!  I don’t even have time to think about Heidi’s outfit before Ryan comes out with this amazing kick-leap about six feet off the ground.  Now back to my usual point of interest – Heidi’s outfit is all sparkly and…there’s not a lot of material there, but she looks really cute in half of a pink mesh top and a flamingo-esque wraparound thing at her waist.  Ryan’s looking smart too.  Okay, so, the dance.  I thought I would hate this song, but it turns out fun when people are dancing to it.  The dance was flirty and fun and high-energy, and like…wow. 

Nigel thinks Heidi scrunches her face up like a Cabbage Patch doll.  HAHAHA!  Spot ON.  In other news, number-whoring has definitely gone by the wayside.  Woot.

#3: Alison and Ivan: Contemporary (i.e. lyrical)
Allison: He’s been wanting to learn contemporary since the first week!
Ivan: The word is learn…not do.
Music: Why – Annie Lennox

A classic black lyrical dress for Allison, dancing barefoot must be a ton of fun.  She still looks about ten years older than him, but I find that I like Allison even more this week than I did last week.  My mom thinks she’s going to win, and I think maybe I wouldn’t mind if the title went to her.  If you wonder why I haven’t mentioned the dance yet, that’s because this is the point where I set the tape on “record” and walked away in boredom.  Sorry.  The song wasn’t pretty enough, the dancing wasn’t pretty enough, and my dislike for Ivan is rising proportionate to my admiration of his partner.  I don’t really understand why Redneck started crying.  Okay, if I really wanted to enjoy it, I might have been able to see its beauty, but I’ve seen more beautiful dances.  I have cried over a dance before.  Just not on this show.

 But because I love Allison, I will give her some props for those lovely leaps and twirls, like I do every week.    

 #4:  Dmitry and Ashlee: Pop

Ashlee: I think we can get through pop.  Stay positive, Dmitry.
Dmitry: …I don’t even know what [pop] is.
Music: Let Me – Rhianna

 For tonight’s dance, Ashlee will be playing the role of an 80’s street hooker (big hair, tights/leg warmers, ripped up shirt revealing a black and pink bra), while Dmitry will be channeling Johnny Depp from his “21 Jump Street” days.  Such was my first impression when they danced onstage.  Since Rhianna is a brand spankin’ new artist, all I can fathom is that this strange 80’s twist is due to the way her hit single “S.O.S.” weaves in that theme from “Tainted Love.”  The dance itself was…boring.  That’s all I can say.  It lacked energy, it lacked sharpness, it was just not a lot of fun. 

 “It’s supposed to be watered-down hip-hop and that’s what they gave you!” shrieks Mary, in her usual grating tone of voice.

“But pop doesn’t have to be watered down!” Nigel attempts to protest (for the most part, he’s drowned out).  Mary, you’re a chit.  Nigel is exactly right.  I would never think of pop as “watered-down hip-hop.”  Pop is supposed to be fast and flashy.  Bottom 3 for sure, says I.  True to her character, Ashlee flashes the number 4.  Actually, she sticks up her first and fourth finger and gets eye-makeup-wearing Dmitry to do the same.  Sort of clever, I suppose.

#5:  Martha and Travis: Foxtrot

Travis: Foxtrot, if you can read that…am I allowed to cry on camera?
Martha: Trotting…like foxes.  Fox.  Trot.
Music: Witchcraft – Steve Tyrell

Personally, whenever I hear the word “foxtrot” (which I happen to love), I think of the Missouri Foxtrotter, of course.  T’is a lovely breed of horse, smooth ride, originated in the Ozarks.  My best friend used to take lessons at a breeding farm.  It’s collapsed since then, but it had an award-winning champion, beautiful, extremely friendly golden palomino stallion, Lad’s Golden Traveller, as its founding stud.  I have no idea where he is now.  I wish I did.  I miss him.

Oh!  I’m sorry, the dance.  I’m dreading watching it, because the mention of “bringing back Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers” sends a shudder down my spine.  Ugh.  A more boring concept I cannot imagine.  Okay, watching now.

 Martha’s in a kind of awesome green dress, a silk wrap behind her shoulders, fitted sequins on the torso, and a long and feathery skirt.   Her hair looks classically beautiful, in a bun with a giant flower decoration.  With his hair combed down, I am also a little closer to seeing how Travis could be attractive if he just didn’t have those nasty shaved lines.  He has some cool moves, leaps and twirls and a heel-click, but seriously, I hate slow ballroom dances.  Always have, always will.  Not impressed tonight, sorry.     

#6: Donyelle and Benji: Broadway
(my spellcheck hates their names.  HAH!  It also says the proper term is “spell-check.”)
Donyelle: I’m excited!  I’m a musical theater junkie.
Benji: In other words…“geek.”
Benji (upon entering studio): Welcome.  We’re dorks.

 So, this is a weird dance style.  And OH MY GOD!  What the hell did they dress her in?  When she was dancing at the very beginning of the show, she was in a fitted top and hip-hugging jeans that made her look about ten pounds thinner, incredibly slim.  In this poofy yellow number, it looks like all the weight’s back and maybe a few pounds more.  Ugh.  Benji, on the other hand, looks straight from the pages of Homer Price (although I haven’t read it in a while, so maybe I’m mistaken…pure 50’s looking, he is).  Funny gelled down hair.  I still don't really see how this qualifies as dancing and wonder why the producers decided to include this style among the list of choices.  For all that, they’re having so much fun just racing around like a pair of hyperactive puppies, that I started laughing.  Oh, and holy wow, that fan kick from her was amazing.  Fan kicks are exceptionally difficult.  If you don’t believe me, YOU try doing it.  It takes some incredible rotation.  And Benji had an amazing high kick too. 

As they come up to Cat, Benji grabs Dony around the waist and spins her, feet flying in the air.  It’s little moments like that which make me adore them.  Nigel says “What makes you two such an incredible couple is that neither of you is carrying the other.”  Yes!  And the way Benji always shakes his head at every compliment and insistently points to her.  They are cute!  Redneck Murphy says “I think we have to get real here.  I mean, honestly, 50% of that was just corny and cheesy.  40% was energetic dancing.  10% was pulling faces.”  The enthusiasm is draining out of Donyelle and Benji’s expressions.  He in particular is beginning to look like he just received news of a death in the family.  Murphy adds, “And I have to say, then, 100%...was just ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!”  She stands up, and Nigel jumps up with her, looking ridiculously pleased at having tricked them both with fake criticism.  Brian’s on his feet, clapping, too.  Happy grins and hugs all around!  Benji snags Cat’s microphone.  “She’s always doing that to me!” he complains. 

 Donyelle and Benji make number-whoring hip again.  The end.

 

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