Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dancing with Hope - Round Six

Alright, it's getting down to serious time now. Even before the USWNT #1 faced the tricky rumba, various corners of the interwebs were proclaiming sureness (with varying degrees of argumentative aptitude) that our girl was being cheated by the judges or the producers. They always show her fighting with Maks, she gets crap songs for the dance assigned, the judges favor others, whatever.

I don't know about all that so much, but upon seeing what happened after this performance, I knew I had to watch the entire episode, plus the results show - hence the delay in posting. But let's not get too far ahead in storytelling. Have a gander...


Let's start with the extra-curriculars and get them swept off the floor. This Maks dude is certainly not always the most tactical speaker, but to an extent I agree with him. Certain couples have had lower standards with the judges and few of them have been packing in as much technical difficulty as Hope and her brave/stupid partner (depending on who you ask about the shrewdness of openly challenging competition judges). I also like that he sticks up for her and points to a connection with the audience. Now, that was shrewd for a couple that has struggled at times to get votes from the public.

Here's the thing, though: now they must deliver next time out. No question. No that was kinda not half-bad. Kill it.

Yapping like that and then killing it as response could give enough momentum for them to reach the final three. And if they don't... well... "it was fun, Hope" may be in short order.

That drama aside, let's rate an actual dance. Left field idea, I know. This was a tough one to mark, I must admit. I had to watch it four times. And while I'm aware of how her staccato-stepping once they hit the floor was a bit painful - the judge who cannot seem to speak without standing had the most astute comment, talking about continuous connected movement - my grading will slightly depart from theirs in tone.

Let's go in order. The first thing we notice is... so-called feminine arm waving! Actual discernible relaxed fluidity and attempt at poetry with her arms!! This is big. I've been waiting for this the whole time! And since I can never seem to just talk about the topic at hand, and because it's seasonal, I'm going to use a baseball metaphor. It's like hitting a baseball. You must concentrate, concentrate, concentrate - but also be relaxed. It's one of those strange paradoxes. She has to exhibit control, and yet also let it flow naturally, unimpeded. She has to not move her body, but allow her body to move her. We finally got some of this artistry.

Then, of course, the 1-2-3-4 stepping for a bit, which was obviously more like a practice run. After that brief spell, once again, she murders the close footwork. No other contestant remaining can match her technique and impact in these twirls and other fast, sweeping segments. She rarely goes so far as to even take an inefficient or extra plant, but holds her performance during these moves. To this end, she also consistently nails any and all showy power moves. This week, she nailed two to close the dance, perhaps her best two yet.

The judges gave her a pair of 7's and a 6, which means she no longer holds sole possession of the third-highest remaining average (the Kardashian cat is now even with 22 per week on the nose). I am going to give Hope a 7. If it means anything, and I don't see how it could, my average score over the six weeks is now nearly equal to the judging average. After making another bottom two escape, what Hope really needs are votes from the public. She has a prime chance to achieve those next week.

Hope says she finally let go to dance this week, and I believe her. Often times, moves that look mechanical the one week come out smooth the following. Who was right and who was out of line? That answer arrives next Monday night, ladies and gentleman.

And then there were six...

- Greg Seltzer


RM said... Arsenal are apparently scouting Tim Ream tonight.

Possible his recent preformances havent scared them off and they still have interest?

Greg Seltzer said...

They've had interest for a long time, I doubt a bad stretch of form changes their mind.

And besides, do note that this UK report that does not seem to contain any actual reporting seems to think he played for the Chicago Fire and moved to New York.

RM said...

Greg, He played for a Chicago Fire
youth team before NY.

Greg Seltzer said...

Correct, but that is clearly not what they are reporting. I don't think they understand how MLS transactions work or that Chicago Fire Premier is a youth team, and one that does not require any "move" away.

Greg Seltzer said...

Oh, and there was no offer this summer. The two offers happened last year, around the same time.

Matt said...

He played well tonight, regardless. One of the better games he's played in awhile.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'll be honest, and I'm not sure how much this is worth because I only watched about 35-40 minutes of the game before I had to pass out... he made 3-4 defensive plays out there that had me head in hands for him. It's almost become like he expects to mess up. He seems to have gotten in his own head somehow.

You know what Tim Ream needs more than anything else? An offseason. He looks un-relaxed to me.