Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘JR Martinez

DWTS Week Eight: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Tonight, there were only five stars left on “Dancing with the Stars” to battle it out for spots in the semi-finals next week.  These stars are Nancy Grace with pro partner Tristan MacManus, Rob Kardashian with pro partner Cheryl Burke, Ricki Lake with pro partner Derek Hough, Hope Solo with pro partner Maksim Chmerikovskiy, and last but not least, J.R. Martinez with pro partner Karina Smirnoff.  The dance levels varied widely, and so did the performances, but everyone did as well as they possibly could.

That said, it’s time for some serious critiquing. 

Best of the night: J.R. Martinez/Karina Smirnoff.  I’ve said this before, but Martinez is so good that he often looks like a male pro until he makes a mistake, or has his body in a position a male pro would not take.  Martinez is the class of this field, and he had an outstanding night tonight.

Prediction for tomorrow: Safe.  (Easily.)

Second best of the night: Rob Kardashian/Cheryl Burke.  Kardashian moves stiffly and doesn’t pick his feet up off the floor very often, but he’s shown the most improvement.  Both dances tonight were good.

Prediction for tomorrow: Probably safe.  (Should be, but may not be depending on the strength of his fan base.)  If he hits the B2, he’ll go home.

Third best of the night (tie): Ricki Lake/Derek Hough.  As always, Hough’s choreography was outstanding, but Lake is hurt and it’s very easy to tell.  She was good, but not outstanding; Kardashian was actually a little better, and he has far less talent than does Lake.

Prediction for tomorrow: Bottom 2, will be retained for semi-finals.  (Once again, if Kardashian hits the B2, he’s gone.)

Third best of night (tie): Hope Solo/Maksim Chmerikovskiy.  They danced better than I’ve ever seen them in both dances.  They received the “kiss and make up” edit, and the “most improved dancer” type of remarks; they’re not going anywhere.

Prediction for tomorrow: Safe.

Fifth and last:  Nancy Grace/Tristan MacManus.  I really like MacManus, as I’ve said before; he is a consummate professional, and he has done the best job he — or anyone else — could’ve done with Grace.  Ms. Grace is stiff and does not move well, and by this point she is badly outclassed by the competition.  This is not merely due to her age (she over 50) or how short she is, or that she’s a fuller-figured woman.  (I am a big, beautiful woman myself, so I don’t really care about that.)

Nope, it’s none of that.

Purely and simply, it’s a combination of two things:

1) I don’t like her attitude toward her pro — she seems to be blaming MacManus for why she hasn’t improved, not realizing that at some point natural talent (or the lack of it) has to apply.  Maybe Grace would do better at some of these dances if she had more time to study it — that’s almost surely the case — but her complaining about her busy schedule and then saying that MacManus “doesn’t have a full-time job” was just wrong.  (Doesn’t Grace realize that teaching her anything has to be the toughest full-time job MacManus has ever had?)

2) Her tango was, at best, tepid.  She was given better scores than she deserved, and better comments, too, in her first dance, probably because the judges had seen Grace do the jive last week and knew she was terrible.  Her second dance, the “instant jive” (all of the couples had to do this), was awful despite the best efforts of MacManus to showcase her in a positive light; it was so bad that head judge Len Goodman actually told Grace that her time at DWTS was just about up.  (I kept expecting him to add the words that usually follow those, “Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.”  But he didn’t; he left those words unsaid.)

Prediction: B2.  Will go home.  MacManus will breathe a sigh of relief, and so will those of us who watch DWTS.

But my predictions are just that . . . I’m not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent, either, so it’s possible that someone else will go home instead.

What do you think, America?

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm