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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

Dancing with the Stars, Oct. 14 – It Was a Very Good Year

This week the stars will all be dancing to songs from their most memorable year of their lives. Before they even get started, Tom Bergeron announces that based on only viewer votes, it would be a female being eliminated tonight, yet the judges’ scares that will follow tonight could change that.

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. She felt like Julianne was taking a personal jab at Mark with her scores last week, and it had nothing to do with her. She is choosing to remember 2010 when she gave birth to her daughter and got a divorce from her husband who had an affair that was outed by the press. It’s the perfect song for that, even if they are doing the “forget you” version. This message is for women to be strong, fierce, strong, and move on.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Forget You

Me: I hate the driving mime in the beginning, but the rest of the dance is really good. While she’s usually good at the acting part, I’m not getting the “forget you.”
Len: He’s glad to be back because he got an opportunity to see this cha cha cha. It was fire and ice, fire in the performance, and ice in the attitude.
Bruno: She painted the perfect picture of a hot Latina – footwork sharp and finish indecently hot..
Carrie: Tonight it was something special, like she tuned it up a notch.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 10, 9 = 28

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. His most memorable year was last year with amazing high highs and horrible lows. He moved into a new house with who is now his wife, his daughter was born, and then he was diagnosed with SM. If it gets bad he realizes he could spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair with feeding tubes, and it’s that combined with possibly not being able to provide for his child that is really difficult. But if you don’t have the bad, you can’t appreciate the good. He’s dedicating this dance to his wife and daughter.

Dance Style: Waltz
Song: I’m Kissing You

Me: He does beautifully and has a great frame that he has most assuredly been working on. This deserves a 10.
Bruno: Everyone was lost in admiration for his strength and courage. His footwork was so light, and he did the best links with an under-control butt.
Carrie: There is something so magical about him, and the grace of his being slips into his dancing. There wasn’t one moment where he wasn’t sure what he was doing.
Len: People think the waltz is small, but it’s big, and he came out with that. He appreciated his hold, but his hands had some trouble.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. The most important year for her is the last year. She was raised and dependent on something most of her life, not realizing how strong she was until stuff hit the van. You can either choose to be a victim or do something about it. She jokes if it’s contemporary, they should have Corbin choreograph it for them. She dedicates this to anyone who is going through change, to find their own strength and power.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Roar

Me: She’s a marionette who suddenly loses her strings and power. She definitely finds her freedom in this song, but her lift could be a little better.
Carrie: She loved the concept and message. The beginning was executed beautifully, but she found the movements and lifts weren’t connected, and the lifts a little rough.
Len: He, too, loved the concept, but the lifts were a little labored and not great.
Bruno: She took it on and it was very hard. Contemporary has to have a strong dynamic flow. but it’s a lot to take on.

Last week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. They’re doing the foxtrot this week. He’s going back to 2011 when his sister was diagnosed with scoliosis, and she had it pretty rough. She never lets it affect her and handles it beautifully. The lyrics of this song say everything he wants to relay to his sister, a hope for the future and keeping your dreams big no matter what.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: My Wish

Me: It’s so dreamlike with the way he flows so well .
Len: He is a terrific dancer, and what Len loves is that he always gets the character of it. He did a terrific job in hold and had good footwork, but the last lift was slightly out of character.
Bruno: He could be the lost child of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen with the style of Astaire and the slickness of Vereen.
Carrie: She’s torn, because the last two lifts her feet were great, but in the first one Karina’s foot came off the ground, so she’s deducting a point.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 10 = 28

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He wants to celebrate 1982, the year he married his wife, Gail. She has high morals and wasn’t going to spend the night in his apartment no matter how hard he tried. Throughout, she’s made him a better person than he would have been on his own. They’re dancing to one of his favorite songs which is perfect for Gail.

Dance Style: Viennese Waltz
Song: She’s Always a Woman to Me

Me: He’s a little stiff in the beginning, but his emotion comes through so strong.
Bruno: Honest, heartfelt, and emotional. There were a few timing issues, and he has to remember it’s a waltz and not a bowling alley.
Carrie: He wears his heart on his sleeve and dancing is about touching people’s souls, but he was a little off-timing while he did it.
Len: It was a little skippy and rushed, but he had lovely rotation and Len liked the romance and hold in the dance.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. Her most memorable year was last year when she gave birth to her son. It’s changed her entire life, as she considers herself terrible before. It was hard when she became pregnant, because everyone thought she’d be a bad mom. But once she held him for the first time, she knew this was what she was meant to do at this time. It made her do a 180, but Sasha argues that it should be a 360. Nope, she’s right. He wants her to dance dirty, but she doesn’t want to because of her son.

Dance Style: Jazz
Song: Work Bitch

Me: She does really well with this, as her prior cheerleading work is probably helping her out.
Carrie: It reminded her of her favorite quote from her favorite drag queen. “You better work!” She hit everything on beat and in sync.
Len: It was fast-paced, vibrant, the lifts were clean, had energy and attack, and it was fun to watch.
Bruno: She works hard for the money, and she worked hard, deserving every penny she gets. It was an amazing bundle of fun.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. His most memorable year is 2009, the year after he had moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. He had told his dad when he was 3 he wanted to be an actor, and his dad supported it since. His dad even moved out with him to Hollywood for a short bit to help him out. In 2009 he got a call from his mom to come home and say goodbye to his dad who was diagnosed with lymphoma. When he went back to Hollywood, he threw everything he had into his career. He wants this dance to be uplifting and not sad.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Your Song

Me: It’s a beautiful dance, and he’s right that his dad would be very proud of him.
Len: He loved the passion, the interaction, and the chemistry. When he sits at the judges’ table he always feels his dad is looking down on him, and he thinks Brant’s is looking down on him as well.
Bruno: He adds “with incredible pride.” Brant throws himself into it with such dedication and passion and no fear. He even managed to put in some contractions and acted it wonderfully.
Carrie: With contemporary, if the passion doesn’t instigate the movement, it doesn’t work for her, but tonight, she felt every angst, every movement, from a place of passion.

Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. She, too, is looking back to 2009. She was working at IKEA and auditioned for American Idol, following her passion. It became her lowest moment when she was turned down. She was then called and was asked if she wanted to audition for Glee. With this dance, she wants to show just before you hit rock bottom, you can push it through.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: Try a Little Tenderness

Me: She’s a singer looking to realize her dream in this story, working along well with her most memorable year. She does amazing in this. Kudos need to go to Derek as well for the choreography.
Bruno: Lady Amber is here to stay. It was absolutely and utterly sensational. He feels this could be lifted from the best of Broadway shows.
Carrie: She danced the heck out of the routine. She blew her away with flexibility, the way she acts, the way she hits each routine, and the way she does each style like it’s nothing.
Len: She is a wonderful performer and lights the place up when she comes out, but it was supposed to be foxtrot, and he needs to see a certain amount in the hold. He thinks back to the others working their butts off to get the hold right.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 7, 10 = 26

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. Her most memorable year is 2012 when her baby was born. One of her wishes for him is that he knows he’s allowed to dream big. She also wants him to know that his parents are there supporting him. She wants to connect to her most memorable year professionally, 1989, when she got her big break in Saved By the Bell. Her character did this song in the show.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: I’m So Excited

Me: They do a short skit at the beginning, with her having Jive Pills, similar to the bottle of pills she had in that episode of Saved By the Bell It’s a little loosey goosey for me and not up to her usual standard.
Carrie: She loves Elizabeth so much for doing that, and it took her back to why she fell in love with dance. The kicks were a little soft, though, and she fell out of her pirouette.
Len: He thought the kicks were sharp, fast, clear, and exact. Tall people have a habit of getting loose, but not her.
Bruno: She doesn’t need any pills; she just needs to dance. She was excited. He used to do those steps in music videos himself. It was incredible fun.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 8, 9, 9

With a combined score of last week’s viewer votes and this week’s judges’ scores, Bill and Emma, Corbin and Karina, Amber and Derek, Jack and Cheryl, Brant and Peta, and Nicole and Sasha are all safe. This means Elizabeth and Val, Christina and Mark, and Leah and Tony are all in jeopardy. Being pulled out and sent back to safety right away are Elizabeth and Val.

This leaves the highest scoring couple this week and the lowest scoring couple facing going home. Yet, the couple going home tonight after five weeks are Christina and Mark. No one seems more shocked than Leah. Christina wasn’t expecting it either and says it’s true shock. They feel they had the best performance tonight that they’ve had so far. He’s proud of her and how hard she worked and feels she went out with a bang.

Unlike the last few weeks, it wasn’t the worst dancer going home. Yet, this happens every season. Fans always allow themselves to get wrapped up in the stars themselves and how much they like them instead of just their dancing. After her years on King of Queens Leah obviously has more fans than Christina, coming off her gig on The Voice/i>

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