Week 3 of Season 27 of "Dancing With the Stars" was "My Most Memorable Year," when emotions were raw, tears ran freely and tissues were used up by the box.
The rush of emotions, often heart-wrenching, was exacerbated for the pairs by the video that they were told to watch before dancing. In the video, each celeb explained why a particular year was memorable or life-changing.
Perhaps powered in part by their emotions, many of the celebs improved in their performances of previous weeks. In the end, one couple was eliminated after last week's viewers' votes were combined with the judges' scores tonight. Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong, and Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy were declared in jeopardy, and sadly, Nancy and Val were sent home. One problem with live shows can be timing and the lack of it, and time ran out before Nancy even got to say goodbye or thank you.
I wondered last week when the first 10 would be given, and I should have put money on Week 3. Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke danced a sexy, sexy samba marking 1999, the year he moved from Buenos Aires. He performed the dance very well, including awesome samba rolls, as the smoke machine filled the ballroom with clouds.
Host Tom Bergeron remarked that the crew didn't start the smoke machine, but that Juan Pablo and Cheryl started it with their moves! All three judges - Len Goodman,Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba - raved about how well Juan Pablo and Cheryl danced. In fact, Len just stood and applauded, so I knew a 10 was coming. What surprised me was that all three judges scored the dance a 10, giving Juan Pablo and Cheryl the first perfect 30 of the season. It really was a terrific dance, but I'm not convinced it was absolutely perfect and it just wasn't jaw-dropping for me. Oh well.
My favorite three dances
1. Milo Manheim is only 17 so he doesn't have a lot of memorable years to call on, but he and Witney Carson celebrated 2018 (the year his movie came out, he graduated from high school and decides what college to attend) with an amazing jive. It was fast and fun, and at one point, he danced on the judges' desk and then did a backflip off, without missing a beat. Bruno praised his "strength and elasticity," and Len said it had "plenty of content, and lovely, sharp flicks and kicks. A terrific jive." Score: three 9s for 27 out of 30.
2. Bobby Bones has been driving me crazy with his over-the-top moves and lack of determination to stick with the choreography of Sharna Burgess, but he really turned it around this week. The pair did a contemporary routine about 1998, the year he became the first in his family to graduate from high school. He added that before his mom died, she worked to get her GED because he inspired her. He really became emotional and took the dance seriously. Carrie Ann said there were "moments of real magic,' and Len added that "it was your best dance." Score: two 8s and a 7 for 23.
3. Brandon Armstrong is in his first season as a pro, after being in the DWTS Troupe, and he is really showing off his choreography ability with Tinashe. The pair performed an amazing rumba that Bruno said was "sensuous, always elegant" and showed "liquid fluidity," and Len thought it was her best dance. I fully expect the pair to make it to the finals. Score: three 9s for 27.Uh oh
1. Once more, Joe Amabile struggled to dance smoothly, no matter how hard his pro partner, Jenna Johnson, works to help him improve. They danced a Viennese waltz, and he is improving, but there is a long way to go for him. The judges used phrases like "you're still growing" and "you're a work in progress," and Bruno said, "(Jenna) got you moving, now you have to work on the quality of movement." Their scores were all 6s for a total of 18, but even though they were on the bottom of the leaderboard, they still were not "in jeopardy" with a chance of elimination. Sigh ...
Next week ought to be fun - it's "Trios Week" where each couple adds one more pro to perform a routine. Sometimes, this is awesome and sometimes, it is weird. We'll just need to wait a see. And in two weeks, the world of Disney takes over the ballroom! See you next week - keep dancing!
Scores of celebs & pros:
Juan Pablo & Cheryl: Carrie Ann, 10; Len, 10; Bruno, 10 = 30
Evanna & Keo: 9; 9; 9 = 27
Tinashe & Brandon: 9; 9; 9 = 27
Milo & Witney: 9; 9; 9 = 27
Alexis & Alan: 9; 8; 9 = 26
DeMarcus & Lindsay: 9; 8; 9 = 26
Mary Lou & Sasha: 8; 8; 8 = 24
Bobby & Sharna: 8; 7; 8 = 23
Nancy & Val: 8; 7; 7 = 22 (eliminated)
John & Emma: 7; 7; 7 = 21
Joe & Jenna: 6; 6; 6 = 18