Recaps Season 15 - All Stars!

DWTS: All Stars – The judges are starting to show their colors in week 3.

We have reached the third week of competition and things are still heating up.  The competition is fierce.  This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen the competitors really calling out the others and – sometimes – being a little catty (Gilles!).

I have to say this before going further:  I’ve always believed the judging to be a tad biased and slanted toward their favorites.  C’mon, you know that Carrie Ann and Bruno judge with their hormones.  But this season, it is the most egregious I’ve ever seen.  We may not know exactly who they want to win…but it’s pretty clear who they’d like to see gone sooner rather than later.

So, if my comments seem a bit caustic, just remember that short paragraph.

Here are the dances/scores from highest to lowest.

  1. Melissa and Tony dancing the Samba:  27/30
    • This was a fun dance all around.  There were some points during the “tricks” when I thought Melissa and Tony looked a little hesitant – a bit too careful.  But, I suppose when the possibility of breaking body parts is high, “careful” is a good thing to be. But, of course, it still took a bit away from the dance.  Overall, however, I thought this was a very good dance.  It’s great to see Tony with a talented partner.
  2. Kelly and Val dancing the Paso Doble:  27/30
    • Oh, kicking in a little sibling rivalry!  Kelly picked this dance (originally performed by Maks and Mel B) because she thinks Val can do it better.  Cheeky!  Well, it’s a great dance.  They really took charge and got it done.  Wicked good. (Was it just me, or did they have to put up the DWTS logo to cover up some naughty words from Carrie Ann?)
  3.   Shawn and Derek dancing the Quickstep: 26.5/30
    • Fun, fast and festive.  Some really nice technique and energy.  Shawn seriously does not get tired out.  She’s the friggin’ Energizer Bunny!  However, they did the same thing that Bristol and Mark did last week – they broke hold and broke the rules.  Shawn kept saying that they were blatantly breaking the rules throughout the rehearsal footage.  And while the judges made mention of this and said they would need to “slam” Shawn and Derek just as they had Bristol and Mark last week, they clearly did not.  Supposedly a full point was supposed to come off scores – yet Bruno gave a 9.5.  Carrie Ann gave a 9.  Only Len held true by giving an 8.  Clearly, Carrie Ann and Bruno don’t quite understand what “slam” means.  It was a great dance, it was not a perfect dance.  So, if the score was suppose to drop at least a point for breaking the rules, I just don’t see where that happened.
  4. Sabrina and Louis dancing the Paso Doble:  25.5/30
    • Once again, Sabrina and Louis come out with a very strong performance.  I liked this Paso a lot.  I did not like Sabrina’s costume.  The skirt didn’t seem big enough for the Paso and the bodice seemed like it was moving separately from her body.  It was just weird.  Louis’ costume was great.  Carrie Ann was the most critical of all the judges, saying that they didn’t bring anything new or exciting to the floor – and that was the challenge.  Len and Bruno looked at her like she had 3 heads.  Len and Bruno were exuberant with their praise.  Yet, all three judges gave scores of 8.5.  What?
  5. Apolo and Karina dancing the Foxtrot:  25.5/30
    • Apolo chose the foxtrot that Gilles did in a previous season so that he could show a different side of himself.  He wanted to channel the sexiness.  Tall order there, Apolo.  Personally, I didn’t see a different side.  I just saw a technically nice dance.  The statue thing was a little weird.  I felt bad for the girls from the troupe having to be up there posing the whole time.  In typical fashion, Carrie Ann is all twitterpated over the cute dancing boy and gives out the highest score (9).
  6. Helio and Chelsie dancing the Quickstep:  25.5/30
    • Helio and the Quickstep go together like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s just so right.  This was a very nice dance…right up to the point of getting caught up in Chelsie’s dress and missing the footwork.  The judges all acknowledged it.  Bruno even said that everything collapsed after that.  And yet…and yet.  All three judges gave scores of 8.5 – the same scores as Sabrina and Louis – who did not have a mistake part way through and have everything “collapse” after that.  Really?!  Really?
  7. Gilles and Peta dancing the Tango:  25/30
    • Gilles is all hot and bothered because Apolo chose his Foxtrot as an iconic dance.  He finds it “disrespectful” to choose a dance by someone who is competing in the show.  Oh, Gilles, get over it.  Apolo chose it because he wants to be like you – sexy, confident.  Sheesh!  His Tango with Peta begins with him being lifted in a harness and swung around the dancefloor before landing to dance a bit with Peta.  He spent a good amount of time feeling her up (and who can blame him) and then did some dancing.  It was a solid Tango, but there was something missing.  The judges saw it too – the words “wobbles” and “cranky” were used.  A half point lower than the routine that actually had a clear and discernible “collapse” and 1 1/2 points lower than a routine that blatantly broke the rules. Hmmm.
  8. Emmit and Cheryl dancing the Paso Doble:  25/30
    • Emmit can sure work the cape!  He did a nice job with the cape twirling.  I thought this Paso might have been a bit too harsh – it almost seemed like their movements were too sharp.  I wasn’t feeling it, really.  Technically, there was some good stuff here, but I didn’t get the feel of the dance.  I was still trying to figure out why the rest of the troupe was out there all dressed up.  They were a bit distracting.  And, really, thank goodness the donkey didn’t want to be on stage.  That would have just been creepy.
  9. Drew and Anna dancing the Cha-Cha:  24/30
    • I don’t know why everyone is talking about “bringing out the sexy in Anna” – do they not have eyes??  It was a solid dance.  I think there should have been more dancing from Drew, but, overall, it was a good dance.  The judges loved the concept, thought the moves were “tight and precise,” and “overall, that was terrific!”  No criticism, yet a score of 24.  Underscore?  Or the curse of the first couple to dance?
  10. Kirstie and Maks dancing the Cha-Cha:  24/30
    • The Cha-Cha is Kirstie’s strongest dance – she seems to like it the best and it’s her best when it comes to the technical stuff.  And she has a good time with it.  This week was no exception.  The judges loved it – rave reviews from all three.  But, hmmmm….24 points out of 30.
  11. Bristol and Mark dancing the Paso Doble:  22.5/30
    •  We didn’t get to hear much about their dance or what Bristol did to be “in charge creatively” because the focus was on their big fight.  Bristol was feeling (and I thought this same thing last week) that Mark really would rather be dancing with Shawn or Sabrina – his former partners.  I guess there was a rehearsal the previous week that he just skipped, as well.  So, yeah, Bristol’s going to feel that.  Overall, I thought their dance was pretty solid.  Technically it was strong.  I’d still like to see a bit more  of the performative out of Bristol, but (don’t hate me), I actually did like the dance.  The judges agreed saying it was her best dance.  Carrie Ann even went so far as to say that people have been quick to put Bristol at the bottom of the list, but tonight’s dance proved that  she is a “worthy competitor.”  So, decent scores, right?  Try 7.5 from each of the three judges.

There were a couple of announcements about week 4.  Apparently Paula Abdul is going to be a guest judge.  That sort of frightens me.  But, whatever.  Also, the teams that remain after tomorrow night’s double elimination will be choosing the week 4 dance for their competitors!  Well, that should be interesting.  I can’t wait to learn what their strategies are.

So, that’s how things ended tonight.  Here’s what the scores look like not just for this week, but for the season thus far:

Team Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Total
Gilles/Peta 24.0 25.5 25.0 74.5
Sabrina/Louis 22.5 26.0 25.5 74.0
Shawn/Derek 22.0 25.0 26.5 73.5
Apolo/Karina 22.0 24.5 25.5 72.0
Emmit/Cheryl 24.5 22.5 25.0 72.0
Melissa/Tony 21.0 23.5 27.0 71.5
Kelly/Val 21.5 22.0 27.0 70.5
Helio/Chelsie 21.5 23.0 25.5 70.0
Drew/Anna 21.5 22.5 24.0 68.0
Kirstie/Maks 19.0 21.0 24.0 64.0
Bristol/Mark 19.5 18.0 22.5 60.0
Joey/Kym 20.5 22.5 43.0
Pamela/Tristan 17.0 17.0

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – don’t count Gilles and Peta out of this competition.  They’ve yet to win an individual week, yet they are at the top of the leader board cumulatively.  While I know that doesn’t really matter in the long run, it shows the consistency.

Then again, with the way things are being judged around here – and the way people tend to vote for their favorites – anything is possible.  The couples at the bottom, though, probably have the most to worry about – Bristol/Mark, Kirstie/Maks, Drew/Anna, and Helio/Chelsie.  I think these four might be the most in jeopardy.  But, I could be very, very wrong.

I really do hope that the judges start thinking about what they are doing and saying…and how their scores should (need to) be reflective of those comments.

I don’t have a favorite at this point.  I’m actually just enjoying the great performances.  Honestly, anyone could win this year and I would be fine with it.  In fact, I’m not even voting.

But I do want things to be fair…and the judges need to kick in and start doing that.  Don’t be afraid of the boos from the audience – if you have a criticism, say it!   “Wonderful!  Perfection! It was stunning!” should not translate to 8s.  “You messed up some steps. You broke the rules.  There were some wobbles.” should not translate to 9.5.

If the problem is with the public voting – people who shouldn’t remain on the show are still there only because they are getting so many votes – then change the process!  Perhaps the view votes should only count for 25-30% of the score rather than half.  But, ultimately, don’t give scores based on whether or not you think a contestant will get a lot of votes or not.  Sheesh!

So, tell me…what do you think of the judging this year?

2 comments on “DWTS: All Stars – The judges are starting to show their colors in week 3.

  1. Elizabeth Serby (Betty)

    I am angry about Len”s treatment of Derek. He obviously doesn’t like him but 8’s two
    times? He is one of the best and doesn’t seem as arrogant as Maks.


    • I agree. Derek definitely breaks the rules sometimes, but overall he’s the best choreographer out there.


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