Dancing with the Stars - Season 31

screech

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Overall I much preferred Disney+ night to James Bond night. Though I'm dreading next week's (I always hate most memorable year night). How many times will Carrie Ann cry? And what will prom night be like? If they have to do a two night week, as much as I hate memorable year night, I kind of wish they'd do what they did a few years ago - first night is the star's memorable year, and the next night is dedicated to the pro's memorable year.

As much as I think she's a ringer, I'm surprised Charli didn't get a single 10 last night (let alone all 10s). IMO she was miles above the other teams, including those she's tied with. I did hate the colour they did their makeup though. Made them look more jaundiced that Simpsons.

I didn't love Wayne's dance as much as the judges did. I actually preferred Jordin's jazz to his.
I didn't pay much attention to Gabby's dance because I was cringing at the vocalist. IMO that vocal performance was an insult to Jeff Lynne and ELO.
I also didn't pay much attention to Jessie and Alan, because I was distracted by his makeup (though their makeup was fantastic - she really did look like SJP and he really did look like Billy Butcherson)

Joseph's dancing was decent last night, though I was surprised he was so sloppy on the tricks. Heidi was good, though I find she shows zero emotion when she dances. I want her to get into the 'performance' more. Selma was technically decent, though while I understand why, I find she dances slowly, and almost boringly? Vinny is not a great dancer, but holy hell is he good at the performance side of things. If he and Heidi could somehow be combined, they'd be perfect.
 

Desperado

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I hate Disney nights because it’s too gimmicky and kids friendly for my taste.

I liked Selma and Sasha but contrary to Carrie Ann, I always worry when Selma does a trick. I couldn’t have my eyes look at Charli and Mark’s dancing and don’t mind missing the top dance.

I really don’t remember anyone’s name - thanks for the summary, @screech.
 

screech

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So prepare for Carrie Ann's tears and some over-inflated scores tonight on Most Memorable Year night.

Though I'm sure nobody asked for it, next week will be Michael Buble night, courtesy of his friendship with Derek. Apparently Buble will be guest judging, performing, and Derek will be creating a dance to one of Buble's songs. Derek had also directed a music video for Buble earlier this year, which featured Buble dancing with Hayley.
 

MLIS

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It was obvious as they teased a "big announcement" all night and kept showing Selma and Sasha what was about to happen. Saving it to the end and then doing the "surprise" (not) announcement that there would be no elimination felt like they were milking what was clearly a very difficult moment for her. I'm sorry for her, but she danced every week with grace and beauty and was truly inspirational. I liked that the judges gave her the first perfect score of the season. It could have been patronizing, but instead it felt like genuine appreciation.
 

screech

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That was Selma's best dance, and I'm glad she got to go out with that one last dance. She seems like such a positive and genuinely good person, and even though I've never met her, I feel proud of her. And Sasha was such a wonderful partner for her. Seeing all the stars and pros sobbing got to me.

On to the other dances. IMO this was one of the best Memorable Year nights as it wasn't overly sappy as it usually gets.

- Charli and Mark were amazing. Such a creative and wonderful dance. Though I was a bit disappointed that the idea with him kind of 'painting' her didn't quite seem to work out (the makeup was probably dried on his skin and didn't transfer to her as expected). I fully expected 40 for that one.

- Wayne's was one of those few where the song actually matches what is claimed to be the memorable year. And a beautiful dance for his daughter. Way too nitpicky though (seriously Len?)

- I don't get all the fuss over Heidi. She's technically fine, but she has the personality of a paper towel out on the floor. I need to see her show some 'performance'! Same with Gabby, who is a better dancer than Heidi, but also shows little personality (despite always saying how she's only personality)

- Vinny is definitely not a dancer, however he's just so likeable somehow!

- Trevor - what a difference a haircut makes. Wowza!

- I thought they were also a bit hard on Shangela, who was beautiful out there. Shangela seems to really be bringing out the best in Gleb, as he seems like a different person this year, both in his choreography and in his personality.

- That was definitely Joseph's best dance. And he really does have such elegant arms. Daniella was definitely doing most of the work there, though.

- IMO a bit of a let down for Jordin after last week (where I thought she was underscored). I didn't love this week's dance, and while I know her dress was supposed to evoke a wedding dress, it ended up looking like a half plucked chicken.

- Jessie is just there, IMO

- LOVED that they included Gabe in Daniel's dance. (Also loved him helping out in the rehearsals. CAST GABE AS A 'STAR' NEXT YEAR!
 
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screech

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I haven't always bought into the discussion that the show is rigged, but with the marathon last night, it makes more sense. It's been previously said that the judges know who is getting the fan votes and counter that with scores. For example, per the Reddit DWTS threads, Daniel and Shangela seem to be loved, however their scores have sometimes been lower than they deserve (meaning they get the fan votes). Conversely, Jessie seems to be very disliked so the judges score her high, OR give her the win in the marathon to counter that.
The bottom 2 last night should not have been the bottom two. It should have been two of Jessie, Trevor, and Vinny.

On to the dances - I did not see what the judges did in Jordin's contemporary. To me it looked pretty awkward. Wayne had the best dance of the night - a perfect marriage of samba content with 80s dancing. I would not have given Charli any 10s for her jive. She had zero bounce and energy in her kicks and flicks, so the jive moves didn't feel particularly 'jive-y'. Heidi once again showed the personality of a paper towel in a dance that screamed for personality. Seriously, if you paired Heidi's technique with Vinny's performance personality, you'd have a perfect competitor. I also found Gabby a bit stiff at times in her tango, so probably wouldn't have given her 40.
Joe had mentioned in his package that he needs to work on being pigeon toed. So in his dance, I paid close attention to his feet, and they were actually turned out. He had the best kind of attitude - listening to the judges' comments and actually working on what they said! He was definitely improving and I agreed with Carrie Ann in that I'd be more interested in seeing how he progresses than Heidi.
 

Desperado

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I’ve been behind on my watching. Selma’s departure had me in tears the entire time. It was well handled and the emotion seemed genuine from all the cast and that’s why I’m still here at season 31 (and a cheap Disney deal).

I’m with you @screech, the marathon looked like they knew beforehand the order of who would go. Trevor had too many lifts to do and was dying out there many minutes before he and Emma got taken off.

No comments on Bublé night? I thought he was a natural as a “guest judge”. Derek’s choreography was quite busy and too much was happening for me to see it all, but the “walking lift” took my breath away.

Glad Jessie enjoyed her dance before being voted off but won’t miss watching her, same with Heidi who was overscored IMHO.
 

screech

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I honestly don't get the raves for Heidi. She's an adept technical dancer, however there is absolutely zero passion/emotion in her performance. Even this week - she had a pasted on smile. That does not equal emotion! It's like she goes through the emotions. To a lesser extent I find Charli the same. An absolutely fantastic dancer, but zero 'performance' to it. It makes me feel zero connection to her as a person and a performer. After watching them on DWTS it amazes me that they have a reality show.

Shangela was clearly so disappointed when the judges started commenting. I think the misstep was when the camera had that weird cutaway, as I didn't notice anything. She likely would have had 10s otherwise. And doing that dance with pieces of fried chicken in her boobs? And Tyra and Bruno then eating it? I love it!

I didn't get the judges' love for Gabby's dance. I found her rumba very awkward and with stiff legs. I also find it unfair that one couple gets another pro to come in and help but nobody else did (yes, I know Jenna is Val's wife, but still!)
 

screech

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Disappointing news that this is Len's last season. I'm assuming Derek will now become 'head judge'.

No surprises last night, though I did think Charli's paso doble was a bit overscored. There was a side by side section in the middle of their dance that seemed really out of sync to me, and I thought she lacked attack, though the choreography was, of course, fantastic. I also wouldn't have given Gabby 40 too, as I also thought she was a bit 'loose' throughout the dance. But she's really grown on me over the last few weeks. Didn't like her the first few, and now I find her hilarious.
Shangela was over-nit-picked IMO. So glad she stayed. And I REALLY hope they provide us with Gleb in drag for their freestyle!
 

Desperado

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My Disney subs ends this week and I’m not excited enough about the finale to re-up.

I was sorry to see Trevor voted out because he and Emma made so much progress together, in true DWTS fashion.

Happy to see Witney making it into the finals with Wayne but I don’t see them as enough competition for Charli/Mark.

Len looked much frailer this year and I really hope he’s leaving to see more of his family as he said, and not something sadder.
 

Coco

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I had no idea Wayne Brady was on this season!!!! Argh...I need to catch up.
 

screech

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No surprises with the winner. Though she was undoubtedly the best dancer, she was always underwhelming to me. Almost like she was too focused on precision, and not putting any 'oomph' or passion in her movement. Even yesterday, the jive, while lots of choreography, was lacking in the 'performance' side to me. She also is very stiff in the shoulders and torso, which is something that was never brought up (yes, I'm nitpicking, but with how much the judges nitpicked Shangela, I think i'm entitled to lol).I did really like the music and concept of their freestyle though. And I hope that Mark is back again - I do think that if she had a different partner, she may not have excelled so much.

I know it was a wardrobe malfunction, but Gabby should not have received 10s for that freestyle, as it noticeably disrupted her program at the end. I did love that her freestyle was all about her, with Val basically being a prop. I was a bit underwhelmed with her cha cha. Lots of content, but like Charli, lacking passion and oomph. I do think she really brought out the best in Val this year. And apparently she's not just part of the DWTS tour this year, she's also co-host. Which I think is great. I didn't like her much at the beginning of the season, but her personality really grew on me to make me laugh a lot.

Last night was two of Wayne's best dances. His quickstep still wasn't perfect, but much improved from last time. And while one of his better dances, his freestyle was good but also a bit 'meh' to me. IMO the best part was when he was on the pillar at the beginning. I do like that he was really involved in the concept/choreography though. Also, amazing that he performed that well when just the night before he hosted the AMAs.

Now Shangela - I didn't mind their quickstep much, but I honestly can't really remember it. The second I noticed that while they went first in round one but NOT first in round two, I thought GLEB'S GETTING INTO DRAG! Then I was disappointed, because I swear I saw him in the final group number right before they danced (which must have been recorded before the show actually started then). And then THAT FREESTYLE! That was the epitome of a freestyle, and it was the Shangela show. At first I was kind of disappointed seeing Natasha, as I kind of thought he'd be prettier in drag, but aside from the outfit, the look grew on me. I love how he embraced going in drag, complete with dancing in heels. And you can tell almost that whole routine was created by Shangela. And like Gabby, it was almost all solo-work.
Also way "Natasha" held herself really made me think of Patrick Swayze in "To Wong Foo" - just a regalness to the posture there.
 

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