DANCING WITH THE STARS—MOTOWN WEEK (AND BEFORE)
Most of the musings below are from last night’s Motown show, but, as a former dancer, I always go back and watch previous episodes to study the dances. Usually my first impression stands, and even gets reinforced, as in the case of Maria Menounous and Derek Hough’s samba last week being way over-marked. I notice all the weaknesses even more, because it’s not in the heat of the moment, like Maria rarely moving to the music but rather to Derek’s commands. He’s the best at disguising his partners’ inabilites with his own dancing around them, and doing tricks. (Like during said samba, he spent several seconds taking off his shirt, while Maria just lay against his leg. What talent, eh?) Seriously, if you still have it DVRed, watch last week’s samba, especially with the music off, and you’ll see what I mean.
Here are a few more random musings from previous shows:
Has anyone ever seen Donald Driver and Scatman Crothers together? Seriously.
After all these seasons, I finally realized that the marks should be multiplied by degree of difficulty. What’s the point of doing harder choreography when others get higher marks with much less risk???
The judges must be blinded by Derek, and tassels, to consistently mark him and his partner higher than Chelsie and Roshon, who actually dances!
Listen to this quote from pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd, about her partner, footballer Donald Driver, said backstage post-show, to an entertainment reporter: “I didn’t have to do anything. I just laid back and put my legs up and he took me for a ride. So it was pretty cool. Felt good.” It was really about performing an amazing twirl, but it’s a dangerous soundbite for her!
About Maria’s not dancing, and rather just stepping, Mr. X wisely observed, “There’s no sell.”
Now to Motown week:
Just about everyone was good. It was actually a fun show, overall. But, it was also a bit weird, having them dance to live acts in the competition as opposed to as a showcase performance. Having the singers in our sightline during the dances was so distracting! They should have just been on the results show.
First, to the music, which we cannot ignore. As someone who knew two of the real Temptations personally, and the next four fabulous replacements, who recorded several of their own hits as the newly-formed group, (I even opened for them at the very beginning of my career,) I have to observe that this quintet was almost a Temps tribute band! The original, and founder, Otis Williams, is still there rocking after lo these many decades, and Ron Tyson, a second wave replacement, is, too, but the other three are total strangers. Granted, the other four originals are all deceased, but still…
And, I really hate saying this, but the show runners were smart to give Martha Reeves only one song. Poor thing. But why did they choose someone to begin with who can’t sing anymore? She not only doesn’t have that signature voice anymore, which is why they had the back-up group sing louder than Martha herself, but she didn’t seem to remember many lyrics, even though I know she still performs regularly. Maybe it’s at oldies shows where she counts on the audience joining in, loudly.
And lastly on that topic, I can’t believe that Smokey agreed to do this, but he definitely added some much-needed class to the proceedings. And I loved that Smokey actually watched the dancers while he sang!
I hate to give that white Motown tribute band, who unnecessarily performed around commercial breaks, any mention, but they were beyond dreadful!!! And offensive. It was like the producers didn’t want the show singers to be all black, so they booked these nerds. The group should just call themselves The Pat Boones!
And I absolutely hate seeing those judges dance; Bruno’s way over the top and desperate for everyone to look at him, Carrie Anne’s just praying that she looks okay since she’s judging others, and Len, who’s totally graceful in general, just bops in place and loud-claps those giant hands.
Now to the rest of my musings, as I wrote them live. So, they’re in order of the dances.
I’m glad that Gladys Knight got to stick around long enough for Motown Week, to see her old pals, but she was just awful. That wasn’t even a rumba! I didn’t know where to look. And why was adorable Tristan wearing those nerdy glasses with the strap? What did they have to do with anything???
Maria M. has never had an authentic laugh in her life. She’s so phony and trying too hard.
And it’s offensive that Maria and Derek got two nines!! And that after she tripped down the steps while attempting some steps, and lost her place after that!
It’s a travesty that Roshon got lower scores than lummox Maria.
Why was Mark Ballas rocking a leprechaun hat? Is it his tribute to the departed-last-week Gavin DeGraw???
I’m surprised that Donald Driver is always such a bad sport, expecting, than complaining about not receiving, tens! He’s an athlete, for goodness sake! Buck up, man!
And doesn’t he look like he could be one of the Temps, with his bald head and old man visage?
Donald was so stiff tonight. He looked like a kid at a dance trying really hard. He was terrible. And yet they rewarded him with undeserved high marks once again.
I’m beginning to think that perhaps board commenters are correct about contestant’s marks being pre-determined. How else do you explain Donald and Maria getting nines, while Roshon gets sevens?! It’s so totally unfair. (It’s actually my new favorite word—a shonda!!!)
And yet, the show instituted the “dance duel” this season, to make sure the judges choose who goes home, rather than the viewers, to be “fair.” How is it fair to underscore a much better competitor???
Smokey and Maks! That Melissa Gilbert is one lucky old woman! She gets to dance with Maks and to Smokey singing live!!! I can’t believe I’m jealous of Melissa Gilbert, someone I never considered in my whole life for anything. And to Ooo Baby Baby!!! I’m sick with jealousy!!!!! There aren’t enough exclamation points to express what I feel!
The only thing better for me would be dancing with Mr. X to Stevie Wonder singing Ribbons In The Sky. To look on the bright side, (which I always try to do,) now I have something to aspire to!
Maks had the line of the entire fourteen season run of Dancing With The Stars! When his partner, Melissa, wasn’t rehearsing well, he told her, “It could be worse.” She played right into it by, quite seriously, inquiring, “How?” Without skipping a beat, he answered, “You could have an ugly partner.” I love that boy!!!
Jaleel and Kim’s dance was the best! Even though he’s kind-of obnoxious, I’m glad he had the confidence to pull it off, after all the negativity he’s received over the past few weeks.
Even though Cheryl Burke never looked more like Dopey, (which I’m allowed to say because I do, too,) William’s dance last night appeared almost pro level. I seriously watched them both, which rarely happens. William looked like he was going to kill Len during his negative criticism, which was correct, technically, but was a true buzz-kill.
Hey William–Popeye called. He wants his giant arms and little head back. (Sidebar: Mr. X always says he looks like Joey Lawrence, but I say that Joey wishes!!!) (Actually, now that I’m thinking about, and laughing at pix of the comparisons, if Popeye and Joey had a son, it would be William!)
I was glad to see the judges eliminate Maria and Derek second in the dance marathon because they finally realized that she does nothing but walk, rather than listen to the music and dance, and has absolutely no musicality!!!
This show is so crazy that I can never really predict who’s going home, including tonight. I think it may be Gladys, and I hate to admit that I wouldn’t mind; she’s just so boring. Poor Tristan tries his best to make the dances interesting while being easy enough for her to do, but her performances are more like rehearsals, where some people more or less just mark it out. It’s a shame, too, because her very first dance of the series, in that red dress, was so fun. I was actually screaming and applauding during it. And now I fight to stay awake during her numbers. Oh well. Now we know why the Pips are the ones who did all the dancing!
In my opinion, which often differs from the voting masses, the winner, by far, should be Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas. And William should be second, (and not because of his looks,) with Jaleel or Roshon coming in third. Fingers crossed on it all.