Week 2 – My Jam Monday (22.09.2014) and the result show (23.09.2014)

Week 2
My Jam Monday (22.09.2014) and the result show (23.09.2014)

Introduction
This week theme is My Jam Monday, which means the star can choose their favorite song for their routine. The variations of the dance are cha cha, foxtrot, samba, jive, salsa and jazz. What different is the opening number for week 2 include all the judges to dance a little bit. I love to see Carrie Ann and Julianne dance. But I still think that Len can do better moves than what he did in the opening number, the same with Bruno.

The routine perform by couple (alphabetically from the first name of the pros)

1. Allison Holker and Jonathan Bennet
I was a little shock when I watch their performance. It supposed to be cha cha. Before the judges’ comment, I feel that the number is more like freestyle or modern dance. It shows more on Allison’s flexibility. Last week performance is better. No wonder Carrie Ann, Len and Julianne comments that there is not enough cha cha on this number. I think the best comment is from Len where he advised Allison to watch her choreography and come back next week with more ‘content’. Other than that, I like the setting and the costumes from both of them. And they are kissing, what a brave act – LOL.

2. Cheryl Burke and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Maybe rumba is more suitable for Antonio. Although as Cheryl and Julianne said, doing the rumba in the beginning of the competition is not easy because rumba is a very passionate dance. But somehow, Antonio does his job very well. He is more fluid and more confident than last week. He is an actor but maybe it’s not so easy to have a very intimate body contact with Cheryl in their rumba. But they did it and if he keeps appear to be calm and confident, he will stay for a long time. And by the way, I love Cheryl’s costume, it is so beautiful and she is so pretty in that costume.

3. Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip
There is something missing about Michael, I still don’t know what it is. But this week, I’m not comfortable with the choice of song while they have to do the samba. The beat is not matching the samba movement. If we compare them with Randy and Karina, I can see how good Karina covering Randy, so we still can see both of them hand in hand perform the number. Michael is a nice person from the way he acted, but I got to admit that he is having a difficulty to catch up with Emma. Except for his hip action at some point, it is sad to admit that they did not dance synchronize.

4. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture
Karina’s costume is cute, yellow and has the 1930’s style, matching with Randy who wears the army costume. The song is good, ‘Satisfaction’, perfect for Randy. But I really have to say I agree with Carrie Ann. After last week Randy dance so well and smooth in foxtrot, I really expect him to perform as good as last week (at least) or even better. But he seems a little scared to move although Karina said that his facial expression is good during the dance whilst the camera did not catch it. I really hope he stay this week and I am pretty sure he will work harder for next week.

5. Peta Murgatroyd and Tommy Chong
Age 76, it’s not easy to dance like the other male stars. But Peta is doing a fantastic work, choreographing salsa for Tommy. We knew from the beginning that the physical movement and activities are the biggest hurdle and limitation for Tommy and especially for Peta to choreograph the number. The crowds support them because Tommy is a great personality. He is fun and confident. Peta is more relax this week, maybe because she is already accept that the possibility to be eliminated will always there every week for them. This week I saw her having fun and enjoying the time they perform the routine. Peta’s costume, it’s an amazing pinky one.

6. Sharna Burgess and Tavis Smiley
Sharna has proven from the last season that she is a good choreographer. This week I think the choregraphy is great, also the setting and the costumes. But in the footage, we can see that Tavis was too full with his activities, which is kind of disadvantage for him especially to fully rehearsed with Sharna. I can see that Tavis is doing his best to do the routine, but his last week performance was better. You can’t miss any opportunity to perform the routine as good as you can, so I just hope he get enough votes and scores to survive this week. But seriously, their scores are not bad at all.

7. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro
I can’t write much about this couple – yet – because the clip I got from YouTube has no sund at all when they dance. But looking at the movement, I like what I see. I mean Witney choreograph nicely, she dances great and Alfonso has a natural body movement. I like seeing him dance. But I can see that being on the top of the leaderboard has given him too much pressure. Last week he dances with a lot of smiles. But somehow this week he is kind of tense. But getting all 8 from the judges, it’s not bad at all, not bad at all.

8. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson
Wow, Lea is killin’ it. She is really entertaining. She has quick steps like young girl. And Artem, he is just amazing. Amazing in the way he dance and in the way he convince Lea that she can do it. They get the highest score after Randy and Janel perform. I have confidence she will get better and better. Wearing the leopard printing costume, that is something, Lea. She is my warrior prince this week.

9. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota
Derek is always creative when it comes to choreograph the number. And he is willing to take a risk to provide something unique for the audience. This time he is taking a risk by using the bass as their dance prop. Although it’s only in the beginning, but putting Bethany to stand on the bass, I can say that is a very brave movement and they did it, Bethany did it. Derek always perform in a complete very nice package : the choreography, the costumes and the props. Bethany still looks cute but more feminine compare to last week when she was more like a teenager. That impression comes from the costume, and I think it’s amazing. She can dance, but I like Amy Purdy more because she is an athlete and she has the flexibility for Derek’s choreography. Anyway, whether you like it or not, I have to admit that Bethany has all the advantages to win or at least reach the finale. Just imagine that possibility when you have thousands of followers in the social media, and the Emmy winning choreographer also a very talented dancer as your partner.

10. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson
I love Sadie because she does not afraid to show her enthusiasm about everything. And she has the advantages of a slender body and long legs. Although she needs to be more flexible when she dance, but the hip action is really good. I predict that the trio of Sadie, Bethany and Janel will always get a close scores every week since they are all young and pretty and can dance. The choreography is fun and energetic though.

11. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
Janel is so pretty in her costume. As usual, Val has a very good taste of how to create a perfect setting for the routine. It is romantic, like the way two people dance the foxtrot. I kind of afraid Janel might fall because of the mask they wear in the beginning and fall not far away from their feet. But they dance beautifully, although I think Karina and Randy did better last week. I am 100% sure they will stay for another week.

12. Tony Dovolani and Betsey Johnson
Another shocking couple. Last week I think Tony is so kind that he let Betsey to dress like she usually did. But the result was so poor because they were in the bottom of the leaderboard, yet they are very lucky that they survive the premiere night. And this week, Tony takes in charge. Betsey is amazing, she is clean and she is pretty. I can hardly recognize her because the dress I simple and beautiful. The choreography is nice and Betsey do the routine without any error. It makes me want to cry when she told Erin that Tony did all the changes on her, all of it and she feels grateful. That show how professional Tony Dovolani is. Two thumbs up for Tony who made Betsey turn from a messy lady into a princess. To thumbs up for Betsey that she is willing to follow Tony’s advice to get better.

My favorite routine from the couples
1. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish – Foxtrot / Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jansen
2. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson – Jive / Land of a Thousand Dances – Wilson Pickett
3. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota – Foxtrot / All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
4. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson – Jazz / She’s Country – Jason Aldean

My favorite routine from the pros
None

Reflection from week 2
1. It’s great to see the mutual relationship between the pro and the star. Like Lea, who feels that she can do the steps if Artem ‘touch’ her. For me it’s not depending on your partner, but she really trust her partner. It’s not easy, believe me, in any aspect of life, not only in dancing. You can see all the way to the final that the pro always had their ways to build and maintain the self-confidence of their partner. It’s not easy for the pros and it’s more difficult for the stars. But that’s what friends are for.

2. This show really gave me a perspective about how people handle their stress. Each person has their own way how to channeling the stress and being free from it, because the pressure is really hard. Imagine as a person that is not a professional dancer, you have to learn more and more complex moves from various type of ballroom dances. You have only less than one week to learn a lot of new things and you have to perform in front of the nation. This is a reality show, of course the producers always doing something dramatic to increase the level of enthusiasm from the audience. But I am 100% sure that it is not easy for all the casts to survive week by week. But they made it and that is more important than winning the mirror ball.

3. Being a teacher is difficult. It takes a lot of patience and empathy. Being a dance instructor in this show is also includes how to do your best to make your partner shining when they perform. That’s what I call selflessness.

4. When Tony Dovolani said this to Betsey Johnson : ‘We’re gonna leave it behind us. Because now it’s a brand new week.’ – that is a powerful motivation statement. When Alfonso said that what the judges said is what Witney said, and that’s why he will follow whatever Witney says, that show that the pros has a quality of an excellent mentor and partner. The positive attitude is the most important thing in this life.

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