Dancing with the Stars Was a Slave to Britney Spears for Week 3
by Kim Krober
It was Britney Night on Dancing with the Stars, bitch. In light of the recent decision delivered in Britney Spear's drawn-out conservatorship battle, the show's producers decided to pay homage to the singer with a night of dances performed to some of her biggest hits. But what everybody really wanted to know was how pro Cheryl Burke was going to dance with partner Cody Rigsby in light of the revelation that both have now tested positive for COVID-19 and are under quarantine.
It was decided they could compete virtually from their respective quarantined locations in a Jazz routine because this style of dance doesn't require physical contact. However, their future in the competition remains to be seen. I was more bummed that judge Derek Hough was also absent in the ballroom out of an abundance of caution that he may have been exposed to COVID this past week. I hope everyone feels better soon!
Let's see how your favorites fared on this third week of competition:
Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Cha-Cha
Amanda and Alan opened the show with a "Circus" Cha-Cha. Len was intrigued to see how they would cope with Latin dancing, saying they did it very well though it lacked any excitement. Bruno admired her legs and star quality but cautioned her about adding more impetus to her hips. Carrie Ann told her she was stunning, complimenting her for working on her technique. However, she thinks she could still improve her posture.
Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Tango
Iman and Daniella's Tango to "Piece of Me" was a little stiff, but I appreciate seeing his effort and commitment to improving in the competition. Bruno said it was a nice solid piece of Tango, and he could tell Iman is committed to improving his footwork. Carrie Ann said she didn't expect to see him dance so elegantly. Len fussed about his feet but then praised him for coming out and giving it his all every week. The judges seemed muddled when it came time to pulling out their score paddles.
Christine Chiu & Pasha Pashkov, Paso Doble
After being in the bottom two last week, it seemed apropos that Christine and Pasha's Paso Doble this week was set to "Stronger." Carrie Ann was glad the judges saved her, praising her for her flexibility and control. Len complimented her for dancing a clean, crisp Paso Doble with plenty of energy. Bruno liked seeing her tough side, telling her it was good to see her going for it like that. It was enough for a trio of 7's from the judges, but was it enough to keep her out of the bottom two again?
JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Argentine Tango
JoJo and Jenna's Argentine Tango to "Baby One More Time" was as adorable as their costumes. Len called it an extremely well-crafted routine with lifts that went with the flow of the dance, though it didn't exactly ooze Argentine Tango to him. Bruno told her she knows how to go straight for the bullseye every time with titillating dance moves. Carrie Ann loves her liquid sunshine and when she leads with clarity and intention, telling the guys in the competition to take notes from her moves.
Kenya Moore & Brandon Armstrong, Tango
Kenya and Brandon's Tango to "Womanizer" was polished and smooth, albeit a little sleepy. Bruno told her she was back on track, gliding across the floor beautifully. Carrie Ann called it chic, admiring her supermodel vibes and refined elegance. Len thought the hold was a little loose at times but liked how she captured the flavor of the dance.
Brian Austin Green & Sharna Burgess, Tango
Brian and Sharna's Tango to "Till the World Ends" wasn't as sexy as I was expecting it to be given that they're a real-life couple, but I guess it wasn't horrible either. Carrie Ann thought he had finally arrived in the ballroom, saying she was appreciative of the content and hold. Len told him his frame and body contact were good this week, but his footwork remained poor. Bruno admired the apocalyptic "Mad Max" vibe but agreed with Len that Brian needs to perfect his footwork, commenting that mid-season is not the time to lose momentum in this competition. Comments like these make me nervous that the judges would not save them if they were in the bottom two.
Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Cha-Cha
"(You Drive Me) Crazy" is probably my favorite Britney song and Melora and Artem's Cha-Cha did it justice. I wish she knew how fabulous she looks on the dance floor. Len called it a full-on Cha-Cha with plenty of hip action and great performance quality. Bruno admitted that nothing could contain his excitement at seeing Melora in full focus for the first time, fully becoming the character. Carrie Ann commended her for making it look so easy and natural, calling it spectacular overall.
Melanie C & Gleb Savchenko, Tango
Melanie C and Gleb's Tango to "Toxic" was anything but - I thought it was one of the stand-out Tangos of the night. I also loved their costumes and the flight attendant story. Bruno complimented them for first-class service and execution. Carrie Ann could tell it was difficult choreography but couldn't help but feel something was a bit off still. Len said it took a while to take off for him, calling certain parts of it turbulent.
Jimmie Allen & Emma Slater, Salsa
Jimmie and Emma danced a hip-heavy, hypnotic Salsa to "Outrageous." Carrie Ann didn't like his "monkey fists" because it looked like he was shrinking inwards. Len liked the easy, rhythmic action but said it could have benefited from fewer lifts. Bruno thought it was good to see him let loose, calling their side-by-side hip action spot-on. Way to go, Bruno, giving them an 8 to compensate for the low 6's garnered from the other judges.
Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy, Tango
Olivia and Val danced a Tango to "Hold It Against Me" that felt like a slice of redemption, securing her place in this competition. Len praised Val for the choreography, staccato, and full-on dance attack. Bruno quipped, "she was on it like a bonnet." Carrie Ann called it the best dance of the night even though there were a few missteps. A trio of 8's from the judges was the icing on her birthday cake this week.
Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Jazz
It was actually kind of neat to watch Cody and Cheryl dance their Jazz routine to "Gimme More" virtually from separate locations. I wish we could see this type of thing done more often. Bruno admired their perseverance and commitment, but he said it's difficult to judge them when they're a little out of sync side-by-side on the screen. Carrie Ann commended them for being able to perform no matter what but didn't think it was as great as it could have been in the ballroom. Len wasn't sure how it would work, but he thought they were clear and tight and said it was terrific under the circumstances.
Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Foxtrot
Suni and Sasha's Foxtrot to "I'm a Slave 4 U" was as fun and unique as his snakeskin suit. Carrie Ann liked to see her push her boundaries but could still sense her discomfort with attempting sensuous movements. Len didn't feel it captured the romance of a traditional Foxtrot, calling it too steamy for his taste. Bruno said he doesn't mind steamy because a little bit of moisture makes people glow. He wants to see Suni let go more.
Matt James & Lindsay Arnold, Tango
In what seemed like the millionth Tango of the night, Matt and Lindsay danced one that felt precise but coldly detached to "Scream & Shout." Len congratulated them for the full-on routine but felt sad there were a few missteps. Bruno was a bit disappointed that Matt was overdressed tonight (after seeing him strip playfully last week) but loved the fierce concentration on his face throughout the dance. Carrie Ann liked the refinement of his posture and movements.
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin & Witney Carson, Salsa
The Miz and Witney's Salsa to "Oops! I Did It Again" was the perfect way to end Britney Night. I love watching him improve week after week! Bruno admitted that less is more when it comes to shirts, calling him the "Magic Miz" for taking off his heart-breaker shirt. Carrie Ann thinks he's fun to watch, but he needs to improve his technique for the rest of the Latin dances. Len praised him for not having a dance background at all (unlike others in the competition) and being able to perform at that level on week three. It was two 7's and an 8 from the impressed judges!
The second elimination of the season was bound to hurt more than the first, as one can never quite predict where the votes will end up or whom the judges will save. The two couples in jeopardy this week were revealed to be Kenya and Brandon and Christine and Pasha. Carrie Ann and Bruno voted to save Kenya and Brandon, while Len admitted he would have saved Christine and Pasha. I wonder if the outcome would have been any different had Derek Hough been there. I'm so excited next week is Disney Night and I can't wait to see them incorporate their Mickey moves, but do we really need to go back to two nights of competition?
Do you think the right contestant went home? Keep voting for your favorites!
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