Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dancing with Hope - Round Eight (updated)

It's another week with two judged performances as our girl enters the top five, including one she and her partner must put together receiving the music only 20 minutes beforehand. Hope claims this is her sweet spot, with the pressure on like that. We shall see, but first there is the standard weekly routine featuring a Quickstep. This dance is not entirely far away from the Jive, which she kinda tanked by the judges scorecard and America's vote - and happens to be the "Instant Dance" assignment. With Landon Donovan again in attendance, let's see 'em both in order...

Okay, first to the Quickstep. Again, the girl murders footwork. And when she is spinning in those lightning turns, I'd swear she is no less proficient at nailing it in correct posture than the professional lady dancers on the show. As The Distracter noted, Hope 'was floating' over the back half. It's continually impressive, as is the fact that she never loses her place or gets lost with steps.

A couple times, she did drop the performance and smile, but gathered it quickly. I think I've also determined the answer to her arm fluidity problem; it's from the shoulders to elbows. She has begun expressing with her wrists and hands, now those shoulders need to join the party and we need to see some dramatic extension at the slower showy moments.

The judges each rocked her with a 9, a mark she'd previously failed to hit even once. I will follow suit, dishing up another 9.

Now, let's talk some instant jive. The craziest part of this is that Hope had never heard the song she drew before... well, that and her wardrobe (another Distracter tsk-tsk). For not knowing the tune, the musicality aspect was astounding. Really. And not only did she nail that kick sequence once without a hitch, she did it twice. I also liked the ending, how they continued shakin' it up after the music had stopped. Some of the other couples have been putting on more creative performance touches that get the audience excited, so it was nice to see them thinking about these things.

The judges dropped a pair of 8's and a 9 (the second-highest "Instant Dance" score of the night). Old British dude was right, and I will actually do him a shade better by giving Hope a 9.5, her highest mark from me yet.

It won't be long before one celeb is shown the door. I would be rather shocked if it was Hope booted. On a night where four couples each totaled over 50 points for both performances, Nancy Grace's 44 almost certainly won't last until the final four.

After next week's show, we will have the three finalists. Dude J.R. lit it up last night, while Ricki Lake crushed one show and struggled a good bit on the "Instant Jive". That probably means it'll be between Hope and the Kardashian boy that seems a little too nice for his family.

UPDATE: Hope has indeed advanced to the "semifinal."

- Greg Seltzer

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