Last night’s week 6 of DWTS featured Motown and the Dance Marathon.
You know the producers were scrambling. The task was to find Motown acts, still alive, still living in LA, and willing to come out of retirement to sing on a reality show of D List dancers. The set is impressive, the viewership massive… so the appeal is there (and the paycheque). But the BIG problem still remains… how do you FILL a show with live Motown performances from the original artists? You call Smokey Robinsons agent, you call The Temptations and you scratch your head for awhile, then call Martha Reeve. What happens next? Smokey Robinsons agent finds him at Tussauds Wax Museum, The Temptations work on a few moves, and Martha Reeve gets a doctors note to attend.
Sorry, but it’s hard to watch a man’s face so tightly strung that his eyebrows, eyelids and cheek muscles don’t move while he sings. It’s just as hard to watch The Temptations attempt choreography they havent rehearsed, or Martha Reeve scream and convulse her way through old hits.
The music was perfectly suited to the dancing. I like that DWTS has decided to adopt the ‘Theme’ format that all other competition shows seem to have perfected. Motown was a far better theme than KISS headlining Rock Week. I just have to think that sitting around the production table wouldve been a struggle… because Gladys Knight (arguably the move well known and well… preserved of all the MOtowners) was unavailable.
Begs the question – SHOULD she have been eliminated last week, WOULD she have been one of the headliners?
either way, Glaydis Knight was GOING to be a part of Motwon week – the conspiracy theorist on my left shoulder tells me they kept her around JUST to dance in week 6, Motown week.
So they started off the night, with Knight. Gladys is a pleasure to watch, her facial expressions and performance quality are so endearing. It was definitely cool to see her dance to the music she helped create and make ‘classic’. The judges were cordial, but we all know that Gladys’ days on this show are numbered with the standard of dance that is required to win.
Next, Maria Menonous shares Karina’s wardrobe, and foxtrotted herself into a top finish…again. She had a minor mistep, and did not perform very well during the Dance Marathon, adding only 4 bonus marks to her total.
Roshon Fagan tried to pretend that he hasnt JUST hit puberty with a ‘sexy’ dance to Smokey Robinsons Cruisin’. The judges hit the nail on the head – his movement are far to ‘herky jerky’, like he’s trying to pop hip hop moves into a foxtrot… and it comes across as jarring and overdanced.
Katherine, the Welsh Wiggler, was spot on again this week. She wiggled and shook ‘her bits’ to a rousing, crowd and judge pleaser . It can be difficult to have a partner like Mark Ballas who will dance circled around you effotlessly – but in this case, katherine is rising to the challenge and matching him step for step. The pair also won the dance Marathin, catapaulting them into a sound first place.
Donald Driver came out with his best dance of the season, receiving his best scores to boot. I had become a bit bored of Donals, he wasnt bringing anything unique or different to the dance floor , but he could be a contender if he continues to perform the way he did last night.
Melissa Gilbert (needs to look at Smokey Robinson and make some life changes…faces are meant to move) Her dancing tends to err on the side of awkward and wooden. This was a better effort, and she received some very high praise (yet mediocre marks) from the judges. I like her better in the smooth dances where she can show control… she runs off the rails very quickly in fast step dances.
Jaleel (Urkel) is quickly becoming one of my favourites. He had a bounce back week, performing the SOCKS off his cha-cha adding boatloads of personality. He also had a new easy quality that made the dance look effortless. Great scores, great dance, great week for Urkel.
William Levy relies heavily on his oozing Sex appeal. The ‘sexy dances’ are right up his alley, and he sizzled through another one last night. It’s going to keep him around for a long time, but I hope that he gets a chance to show off some high octane dancing in the future too!
Did the Dance Marathon help you decide who the best dancers in this competition are? I read pretty deep into the judges picks and placement – Gladys went first, Katherine went last. Does this predict the order of elimination?