Dancing's Maks: Judges Need to Stop Their Antics
Thanks for your comments once again. I have a lot of thoughts about Monday's show, so let's get right down to it.
First of all, I thought I was in the Twilight Zone because I didn't understand what was happening and what was going on with the results. Don't get me wrong. I love everybody there, but the judges were not making any sense at all and that bothered me.
With all due respect, Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann are great. I love them. They all bring a unique character to the show and known worldwide for it, but they are being looked to for expert opinion on dancing and nobody wants to see them jump on the table. It makes everything uncomfortable and turns people off. I also thought that we can all do without some of the judges' comments. Carrie Ann's crack comment, for example, was in very poor taste. Don't forget about people at home watching, hearing her say that. Bruno's follow-up comment about Andre Agassi was even worse. Andre exposed the darkest secrets of his life not to be made fun of, but to teach people to learn from his mistakes and for Bruno to comment on it in the way he did was completely unnecessary. I'm just livid because I feel antics like that distract from the show and those of us who want to promote ballroom dancing and the art of dance in general have to defend the judges and explain that "they didn't mean it." We've spent the past nine seasons bringing it to people, introducing it to a new audience. I love getting asked questions about it, explaining it to people, writing about it here for you to read. I want people to learn about dance and hopefully like it and the stuff they did on the show can hurt that.
As for the dances, I'll go through each one.
Mya and Dmitry — I totally agree with Len's comment. They danced the foxtrot, but we didn't see any commendable basics in it. I love Dima's dancing and respect him immensely, but he needs to bring his ballroom routines up a notch, especially for someone of Mya's caliber. He needs to give her stuff that's charismatic and shows off her personality. They had a great first half of the season and I'm worried that they're not going to be able to go the distance.
I thought Joanna and Derek were great. As young as Derek is, he's very educated and very professional. He has the gift of making people like Joanna, who's not the best dancer, look great. Derek is able to figure out a way to bring out the best and camouflage the worst. I'm hearing things that people are saying Joanna has had ballet training, which I don't think she did, but I think rumors like those are compliments — they're trying to find something to bring her down and dilute her progress. She lost her balance at one part, which was a difficult move, and the judges called her out for it like it was the worst thing ever. That tells me that they had nothing to criticize and just grabbed to "something" for whatever reason.
Aaron and Karina did a very fast routine. I applaud them for that because it is not easy to get through. But Aaron messed up very obviously in the middle section. He was very hyper and, in my opinion, not easy to watch. Also, they repeated their opening section again at the end. I'm not saying it's cheating, but I don't think that performance deserved two 10s and I think the judges should've judged fairly.
I liked Michael and Anna's foxtrot. Is he amazing? No. Should we encourage him? Yes. He's such a hard worker and he knows he's not the best dancer, but he gives it his all — and he is slowly improving. Once again, I don't think the marks reflected what he did on the floor, but what Michael is doing on the dance floor, somebody like Michael should not be doing and you have to respect people like that. He's a great representation of what the show is all about.
I enjoyed Mark and Anna's routine. I feel for Mark so much. He got crucified and did not deserve it. He took it like a champ though. Mark is an amazing person, the truest gentleman. He will ever pass by without a hello, never miss a hand, never miss a smile. But he's also a great dancer with a lot of potential. The routine wasn't perfect, but he had hip action, bounce action, a lot of material and a crazy, gravity-defying flip. To give him a 6? Are you crazy? Once again, I thought the comments were so rude. Kung Fu Panda doing samba on the Planet of the Apes? Really Bruno? We all like to have fun, but the judges were having too much "fun" there. People put their lives on hold to do the show and you don't treat them like that.
Kelly and Louis did an admirable job. I really like Kelly. She is exactly the way she looks on camera in real life: friendly, super-excited, very professional. She wants it. She wants it for her parents. This week she had the "moment" where the celebrity realizes how hard it all is and gets emotional. Louis had put a lot of content into their salsa. I really enjoyed her turns and spins. He was very physical with Kelly during the dance. That's what you have to do for her to look exciting — not wait for her to do something. He's finding a way to bring out the best in her. It was a performance worthy of notice. And the pants — Louis at his purest! But then he ripped it off and ripped her skirt off. I was expecting him to rip his sleeves off. Then Bruno wraps the pants around his neck and dances on his table. I just did not understand that part.
I love Donny's consistency. He might not go up and down much in terms of "Oh my God! That was great!" and "Oh my God! That was bad!" but he's doing everything right. He has flow. Kym gives him a lot of content. It was quick, fun, exciting and he was in frame. He's probably the most underscored, but he's doing exactly what he has to do in this marathon. He's right behind the front runners and when the final turn comes, he's going to pass them.
As for the team dances, I couldn't believe Len said the tango is easier than the paso doble. You have to do the tango in constant hold, which is harder. In the paso, you separate, run, stand, walk around and then get back in hold. The tango should've gotten all 10s. It was by far superior. It had great ideas, great choreography. Carrie Ann pointed out a lift, but whenever she does that, she never points out anything else. Also, why can't there be a lift in the team dance? Plus, is it written in a rulebook? Is there even one for group dances? If the judges are supposed to look for lifts and dock for lifts, why did it get one 10? I thought the team paso was very good as well. The intensity needs to be toned down a little bit, especially for the guys because there's a fine line between looking intense and looking constipated. They had a harder time because they had more couples, meaning more people to organize, but it was a very good performance.
I felt bad for people. There were underscored couples, overscored couples — which is fine because sometimes you need to be lucky. But bottom line, I didn't appreciated the judges' antics and them turning the show into something weird or controversial and not focus on the content. Please judge the content.
I watched the show on TV, which was the second time I saw it on TV, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it, but not when stuff like this happens. I have friends that participate on So You Think You Can Dance season after season and I always find it hard to watch Mary Murphy's comments. They make you very uncomfortable and you just want to change the channel. Let's not do the same to our show, which tons of people put so much effort into.
I'm very sad Michael and Mark were eliminated. Mark had a tough week and deserved better, but Aaron did a great knockout jive. They both did wonderful knockout dances.
I'm very happy for Derek and Mark's big debut performance of their song "Move." This is not a "big break" per se, but it's a great opportunity for them. I want them to be successful. They're reinventing themselves and why not do it on the stage where you feel at home?
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!