Last night on "Dancing With the Stars," Shawn Johnson gave a mesmerizing but technically spotty performance that divided the panel.
Derek Hough challenged Shawn to tap into her vulnerability. As a gymnast, she had been trained to not show emotion, but "DWTS" and Derek inspired her to step out of her comfort zone. Her "Titanic"-themed rumba received mixed reactions from the judges.
Bruno Tonioli loved the performance and awarded them a 10. Len Goodman gave them an 8 and criticized the lack of hip action and complained that this was not proper rumba. Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with both judges. She loved the artistic performance, but faulted them for a "lift" (which Derek argued was a catch).
For me, it was a bit of both. Shawn showed great musicality and vulnerability, but some of the movements were a little choppy and clipped, almost like a Dance By Numbers routine.
Shawn's polarizing performance earned a 27.
The 27 Club
Other members of the 27 club included Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff. Apolo channeled his inner '70s cheeseball in a samba set to "Give It To Me Baby." Carrie Ann praised the precision of his movements but felt that he had yet to achieve star quality in his performances.
During his original run Apolo was outstanding, but this season he somehow can't seem to break away from the middle of the pack.
Joining Shawn and Apolo in the 27 club was the injured Melissa Rycroft. She and Tony Dovolani performed a laboratory-themed tango set to Britney Spears' "Toxic."
While they delivered a solid performance, Len nitpicked about the lack of precision in her torso area. Of course, this had more to do with her injury rather than faulty technique. Too bad Tony couldn't have come up with a cure for her neck injury in that mock lab.
Team Hot Mess
"Team Gangnam" delivered a wildly entertaining shirtless performance that lacked precision, synchronicity, and flow, but made up for it in excitement and exuberance.
The sight of Gilles checking out Peta's crotch, Gilles throwing his towel at Bruno and stripping down to his briefs, and Cheryl riding Emmitt cowgirl-style may have been a bit too raunchy for prime time!
"Team Gangnam" earned a score of 27.
Sabrina's Going To the Ball
Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel broke away from the 27 Club with a Cinderella-themed performance that earned a 29. While Carrie Ann commented on Sabrina's lack of vulnerability, she praised the elegance and technical precision.
While Sabrina delivered the good this week, I somehow don't see her going all the way in this competition.She's an excellent dancer, but she doesn't seem to connect with the audiences on an emotional level.
Sabrina & Her Twin, Shawn
Maybe she and her "DWTS" twin Shawn could compare notes. Shawn needs better flow while Sabrina needs more vulnerability.
In any case, after the individual and group routines, Sabrina leads with a score of 58.5, followed by a four-way tie between Shawn, Gilles, Melissa & Apolo at 56.5. Emmitt is closely behind with 56.
Kirstie and Kelly are at the bottom with 52.5 and 51.5. Maybe it's time for Kelly and Val to leave the ballroom and sigh out that hotel room?
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