“Spring Break Night” on Dancing With the Stars opened with Patti and Artem in a Quick Step by the pool. Not only was Patti the picture of grace and decorum, she maintained that grace and decorum throughout a bit of a prop mishap. She was supposed to kick off her shoes but only one came off. Patti impressed by continuing with the single shoe. This earned 29/40.
A very physically demanding Tango was next for Nastia and Derek. Nastia was flawless with gorgeous extensions and facings. There was also a cool moment where they traveled across the floor followed by a blast of light and theatrical smoke. The judges felt that there was a sense of disconnect between the partners awarding 34/40.
Willow and Mark’s high school band Salsa was a lot of fun. A great concept with some visually interesting lifts made it seem almost too short. The only thing that could have made the performance better was Willow’s legs. It would have been good to see sharper movement. The score was 34/40. (Carrie Ann held up a “9” but said “8” confusing us all!)
A 60’s style surf Jive with Robert and Kym (who reminded some of us of Barbara Eden tonight) showed quite a bit of improvement on Robert’s part. While not lacking in energy or execution, Robert still struggles with the rhythm of the music. The pair scored 28/40.
Noah and Sharna’s Rumba was a stark yet beautiful. Sharna played up Noah’s strengths. He always has an incredible sense of the music and uses a lot of fluidity in his extensions.
Rumer and Val’s bootylicious Jazz piece was oddly engaging but a little disappointing at the same time. Rumer’s turns were sharp and delightful to watch. She also has great stage presence which was helpful in this case. The copious amounts of strutting like a pop star was, perhaps, not as delightful. Rumer’s skill level is very high and it would have been nice to see it pushed a bit more. The judges gave mixed reviews and a score of 32/40.
Prince Farming’s musicality was greatly improved in the Viennese Waltz. Chris and Witney’s romantic dance among the carousel horses was beautiful. Does Chris have a long way to go? Yes. But he shows a willingness to learn that is priceless. His score was 31/40.
Round one of tonight’s show was concluded by Riker and Allison in a pinball Samba. The confidence that Riker gained from last week’s pirate dance has served him so well. He was light on his feet, hit his arm positions precisely, and articulated his torso almost better than Allison. There were mixed opinions and scores from the judges but two “10’s” helped add up to the top score so far tonight of 37/40.
Round two of the night was the group dance competition. But first the couples in jeopardy this week were announced as Noah and Sharna, Robert and Kym, Patti and Artem, and Riker and Allison.
Team “YOLO” consisted of Nastia and Derek, Willow and Mark, Robert and Kym and Noah and Sharna. They danced a 1960’s beach movie dance to “Wipeout” and looked to be having a lot of fun. The energy level was high and all the solos were sharp and cohesive with the overall dance. There was also a great unison dance at the end with towels for props. The dance earned a nearly perfect score of 39/40.
Team “Trouble” was up next with their self-described “Breakfast Club meets Grease” school dance. Teacher Patti had a classroom full of dancing students in this brilliant performance. Everyone stepped up to the challenge to carry the team challenge. This is the performance of the night to watch again and again! Team “Trouble” tied “YOLO” with 39/40.
Unfortunately, then came the time to eliminate one of the couples in jeopardy. Noah and Sharna and Riker and Allison were safe leaving Robert and Kym with Patti and Artem in danger. In the end Patti and Artem were given their marching orders.
Viewers, remember to vote for your favorite couples at ABC.com. It is even more important to vote given that next week is a double elimination night. Albuquerque fans of DWTS can see the show Monday nights on KOAT Channel 7 at 7 p.m. (MST).