Now, for those of you cleverspotters, you may have noticed (before I corrected it) that I said we’re down to the final four. Just in case you don’t actually watch the show and you haven’t seen my updated blog (I know, what are the odds!!) there are in fact FIVE contestants left, however the show will catch up to me by the end of the night as the pool is reduced to FOUR celebrities; and who may they be? I left out the gorgeous Samantha Armytage from my unedited blog, maybe it’s a sign that she is going??
Tonight; if you don’t watch for the individual dances themselves, is a cool sounding ‘instant dance’ where the contestants will only find out what music they have to dance to minutes before they are due to perform! Must signal for an interesting couple of hours!
We start off with a recap filled with comments from Todd but we also got a glimpse of Damien’s perfect score which was for some reason pushed into a corner by the looks of it!
Anyway, hosts Daniel McPherson & Sonia Kruger join us from their balcony as they pump up the crowd for the show ahead. It’s not long before they get the five remaining contestants outside and onto the floor. Is it just me or does anyone else think ‘Morticia and Gomez’ when they see Manu & Alana?
Of course with the 2 hour timeslot to fill without many competitors; the hosts mooch over the instant dance concept way longer than they should have; I explained it within half a sentence above. Probably not the only mention of it tonight!
Daniel tells them that the winner however will get double points! Definitely a fine prize to compete for. Daniel then goes on to interview the five competitors. Dan makes a joke to Lara Bingle asking that considering they don’t know the song for the instant dance, she didn’t need to turn up to rehearsals (a pun on a controversy that happened last week) but this obviously unsettles her a little bit.
Daniel introduces the judges before Sonia tells us they (the hosts) will be tweeting all night- oh, god no!
First up tonight is the queen of the dancefloor this year- Haley Bracken! This week, they have been given a quickstep! Haley actually seems to struggle in rehearsals with the intensity of the dance. Hopefully this doesn’t transfer to the dancefloor.
The routine is based on a robbery scene and it is a very quirky dance. I could see Haley misplacing steps from time to time but she kept form which was a relief. She moves very well and her leg movements are ‘mighty fine’ as suggested by the song for the night.
The dance ends and we get a shot of a beaming Nathan Bracken in the audience!
To the judges, and Todd thought it was absolutely brilliant, calling it great from beginning to end. Helen agrees, saying it is an interesting series and she proves this, pulling off all the fundamentals. Josh agrees, calling it a fantastic performance.
They head into the green room as we head into a break. Considering this is now a commonplace ad break, I’ll let them off; but if they keep shoving in ad breaks, I’m going to put it down to the huge timeslot they’ve been given, and I won’t be impressed!
After the break, the couple are awaiting in the green room for a pretty good score- maybe a 30?! Well we see the score and it is in fact another 30! They’ve pulled off a Damien, but they did it going first!
Before we move on to the next dance, we get yet another mention of the instant dance, and oh, even a preview of it. All this preview entails are the thoughts of the judges plus clips of the judges insulting the contestants on previous episodes.
Maybe for the diehard fans, this would make them excited, but I just thought it was an unnecessary time filler. Anyway, Haley is now able to find out what her song is for the instant dance which, being able to do this before the other contestants puts her at an (unfair?) advantage.
The song is Into You by Jennifer Lopez and she will be dancing the samba!
Actually, I’ve done the math and considering each partner will perform an individual song, they will all be given the same amount of time to practice, so scratch that.
Up next is Damien Leith as this show tries to go through all the good dancers first. After last week’s performance and result, they will be hoping they can maybe pull it off again with the Viennese waltz. If they can, it will basically cement their place in the final, if they haven’t been cemented in there already!
Damien looks very elegant in the dance as does his partner. They definitely put their acting weight behind it. There’s a point where Damien looks like he ran into Mel and overall, probably not as good as last week; but we’ll see if the judges agree.
They start with Helen who tells him it isn’t one of his best dances, but he is improving on his top line. She says he is struggling with keeping in time and in line, something he has never had troubles with.
Todd wonders if someone can actually do a proper Viennese waltz, hinting Damien didn’t. He liked the dance, but didn’t see Viennese Waltz.
Josh liked seeing the tender side of Damien however he says his arms are getting stiff. He says something about the lift the couple did which causes a small argument between himself and Todd. There’s a bit more banter before Daniel sends him to the green room.
To the green room and it is time for the scoring! He ends up with a 20 which is a farcry from last week, but Josh was nice enough to give him an 8. For Damien’s instant dance, he got the song Closer to the Edge by 30 Seconds To Mars while dancing the Paso Doble. Break time!
We return from the break and it’s time for another mention of the Instant Dance however this time we get a sneak peak of the rehearsing den where Haley and Aric are practicing for their routine. Funnily enough, as Sonia comes into the room, they don’t seem to know she is there even though she is talking. That, coupled with the fact Damien was no where to be seen in the huge rehearsal thing (I don’t know if they could possibly give him his own- it’s actually more of a large hanger) and the fact that Sonia asked Haley one question before it was back to Dan made this look like a very pointless time filler and very unprofessional on Sonia’s part.
Back to the dance floor and Samantha Armytage is back after a pretty harsh week last week. This week, they will be dancing the Argentine Tango and she is determined to do it justice!
It looks very sexy and very intricate however Samantha still looks very stiff and somewhat nervous- but not of the audience, but of falling over as something. You can tell as she wobbles when she tries to do something dangerous like lean back.
Her stepping is a bit awkward but I love her spins and I especially like the atmosphere, accompanied by great music!
To the judges and Todd tells her it looks like she enjoyed herself which is an improvement. He doesn’t like the fact that in rehearsals, Brendan had to wear a George Clooney mask for Samantha to dance sexily with him. This upsets some audience members.
She justifies herself by saying Brendan isn’t her type which then follows with;
TODD: But this is what dance is!
SAM: Yeah, but I’m not an actor, I’m a journo…
Well put, Sam. Todd has to realise that the people that go on this show won’t be good dancers and aren’t looking to do this full time. What a complete knob!
He was apparently ‘insulted’ by this, but I think Todd needs to loosen up a little.
Anyway, moving on finally (god, that banter was probably scripted to fill time!) and Helen liked the emotion and trust in the performance and called it a step forward for Sam.
Josh didn’t believe Sam ‘felt’ sexy and she should work on it; saying there wasn’t enough passion in it. He tells her that the last part of the dance was good, probably because she knew it was nearly over. This stuns Sam who tries to brush it off, but clearly she doesn’t agree with Josh.
Back in the green room and Sonia is also very confused by Todd’s comments, having a joke with Manu who is wearing that Clooney mask before we see the scores. She gets a 19, even with last week, but could improve in her Instant Dance where she will dancing to Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night by way of the Cha-Cha-Cha. She’s not too happy if she is happy with this arrangement. That’s the name of the game!
Back to the show and yet again another look at the rehearsals of the Instant Dance as Sonia interviews (and disrupts) Damien. It seems like a black curtain is shielding one contestant from the other, which is why it looks like only one contestant is in the room at a time.
Back to the dance floor (fleetingly again) and it is time for Lara Bingle who was a little confused as to why the judges don’t focus on her dancing routine and on other things like her attendance or Carmello’s jacket. Hmm… I think I wondered the same thing too!
They get to do the Waltz today which makes Lara happy as she loves the Waltz!
During the look at her rehearsal; there’s a lengthy shot of her at the beach. Yes, it’s pivotal in her mind to relax, but it isn’t for the show; and was quite unnecessary.
To the dance and the camera has some sort of blurry effect for us viewers at home. Lara’s head looks a little stiff but the lifts she has to perform are quite spectacular. There are also a few jolty moments but whether that was apart of the choreography or a mistake is yet to be known.
They end the dance with a kiss before Dan comes back on stage to wrap up their dance. We are going straight to the judges and Josh says she has potential but is rough around the edges. He calls it mono-emotional, saying it fell short of a masterpiece.
Todd says he will give Lara what she wants; an opinion on her dancing. He calls her dull. It causes some ruffles in the audience as he says she has no X Factor and has no shine.
Helen calls her beautiful but says there was too much acting and not enough dancing. Helen says ‘bloody’ and funnily apologises for it.
In the green room, Sonia says she has the X, Y & Z factor. That won’t help her with the judges as she scores a 19. Now for her Instant Dance music and she scores Kiss Kiss by Holly Valance. Funnily enough, that was on the radio on the way home. She will be dancing the Samba.
LARA: ‘I don’t know what that is’
SONIA: ‘It’s just the samba’
LARA: ‘No- Kiss Kiss’
Haha, so funny, what a ditz.
Sonia wishes her good luck before we go to a break.
Afterwards, we look at Samantha in rehearsals and she’s looking brilliant in that sparkly dress. Before we see her though, we look at Manu’s first dance after Daniel tells us that he’s had a ‘French Lover’ before. Make of that what you will.
This week, Manu will be dancing the Waltz and Alana, his partner, is confident as she likes the music choice this week.
To the dance, and it is again very ‘Addams family’; well, the stage is anyway.
Manu is very slow and passionate but at times, it looks like he misstepped and it looks like they were about to collide with the audience! It does get better with some spectacular lifts under the basking glow of wonderful lighting.
Helen thought he did really well tonight, saying it was simple and full of fundamentals. He showed good control to a wonderful piece of music.
Josh called it a beautiful, lyrical and stunning performance. He did screw up a lift at the beginning but still called it a quality performance, saying he wasn’t caricature this week.
To Todd and he is glad that he finally chilled out. He didn’t write anything down as he loved it!
In the empty green room (the rest were off practicing their next routine), we find out he was able to score a 27; placing 2nd for the night. To the half time board and:
But there is still the Instant Dance as Manu reveals his music; Bring Me To Life by Evanescence with the Paso Doble.
Before the break, we start with the instant dances with Haley up first. Here we go!
For a 39 minute rehearsal, it is a very powerful dance; I sure loved it. I liked the song and the way it was sung as well; definitely an improvement on previous weeks. We can tell that most of the moves were similar and some of them were more party dance moves than ballroom moves, but it was enjoyable, so I hope the judges agree.
Todd is very impressed saying they were looking at timing and luck (as they don’t actually hear the song in rehearsals I believe) and they brought it.
Helen says she did a great job with Josh calling it ‘phenomenal’.
To the second score of the night and she is able to get another 10 from Todd and an overall 28- getting a 56 overall!
There’s another look out back at the rehearsals as Sonia impersonates David Attenborough as she observes the rare sight of Lara practicing.
Now it’s time for Damien Leith and his dance. He has a lot of emotion in his face and he moves very swiftly but does misplace a step here and there but considering the amount of steps; it was a brilliant performance! The same can’t be said for the band!
To the judges and Helen appreciates the difficulty of the task but was confused on the regularity of the dance. She says that overall, they did a great job.
Todd tells them they missed a few golden opportunities which cause the audience to groan. I think they’re sick of him by now! I think we all are! There’s a bit of banter amongst the judges. Josh said that he disagrees with Todd and ‘bloody loved it’. They could have done it better if they had more time but doesn’t care- he was so into the performance which was good!
To the green room with Sonia commenting that he blew Josh’s ‘Horner’… don’t ask. Josh actually gives him a ten while explaining ‘how’s this for controversy’ which is a far cry from Todd’s six. I just think the judges are over judging and just want to go home; as vocalised by Todd. He ends up with an overall 24 and an overall, overall 44.
Now it’s time for another check with rehearsals and Sonia refers to Manu’s sexist comment from earlier on in the season as she interviews him. After this finishes; Samantha Armytage takes to the floor.
It kind of looks like she isn’t having fun, and that she’s a bit over it all. She does get faster throughout the routine but she’s very stiff and doesn’t shake it enough! Overall, I don’t think this will get her too many extra bonus points.
There’s a little banter before we go to the judges. Todd actually thought she was enjoying herself (I really didn’t think so) and was focussing on her steps and her eye contact was good.
Helen thought she did really well although it wasn’t as good as the team dance last week although she had more time last week.
Josh thought it was good but calls her a ‘bedazzled carwash thingy’; an ode to his infamous sack of potatoes gaff at Brynne in week one who coincidentally was also dancing to a Katy Perry song.
In this case, he calls this a good thing.
With her night done, she joins Sonia in the green room as they reveal her score. She gets an 18 which gives her a 36!
Up next is Lara Bingle and her dance is actually quite good. Her turns are good and her stepping is great. I can’t see her emotion through her hair but the lifts she performs are so well inline with the song.
To the judges and Josh is impressed with the professional dancers tonight first off. He does however think Carmello’s a bit cheeky and unfair to Lara. Josh loved the smiling, saying she is engaging the audience.
Todd tells her, talking about dancing, that dancing isn’t just about dancing which is why her rehearsals and Carmello’s shirt is so important, saying the latter was a distraction, saying her hair hid her face (I picked up on this from the get go, so I agree with this) and was therefore a distraction.
Helen wants to know if she can go home however agrees with Todd and the hair comment. She also says that Lara isn’t letting us find out who she really is. I don’t get it when people say this, but ok.
In the green room, we get the score and she earns herself a cool 20 points which is a 40 overall.
Oh, I’ve just realised, I forgot they DOUBLE the score for this dance, so the ‘overall’ scores I’ve been displaying are actually just the doubled scores of the second dance! My bad, sorry about that!
I don’t know why they are doubling the points like that; increasing your score by the amount you scored in the second dance is no different to increasing your score by double the amount you scored in the second dance. They all may get higher scores overall, but the placings are still the same.
Anyway, just a bit of a recap to clarify;
HALEY: 30 + (28×2= 56) = 86
DAMIEN: 21 + (24×2=48) = 72
SAMANTHA: 19 + (18×2= 36) = 55
LARA: 19 + (20×2 = 40) = 59
Now, onto Manu and stiffness of the dance aside, he did quite a good job with the stepping and the powerful song and effects gave the performance an edge. Manu’s face was full of emotion, but maybe too much for my liking.
Helen thought he captured the mood of the Paso Doble however technically, there’s a lot that could be improved.
Josh thought it was a great showcase tonight for Manu saying he was so masculine.
To Todd and he campily (in contrast to Josh’s manly comment) tells him he was fabulous. He says he had a great night tonight.
To the green room and the judges score him a 26 (52 + 24) = 76.
And with that, dancing is over, and competition begins as Dan joins Sonia in the green room before we go into elimination.
After the break, we review the phone numbers before we join the five couples who are standing in front of the silver veil waiting for a place inside the top 4. Sadly, one will miss out!
Dan announces the first celeb that is safe as Haley Bracken. The second celeb safe tonight is Damien Leith. The third safe is Samantha Armytage funnily enough.
This leaves Manu Feildel and Lara Bingle in the bottom two. They join the judges as Daniel announces that the seventh person leaving Dancing with the Stars season eleven is Lara Bingle.
With that, the night is over. Lara is happy to have made it this far and she has a very moving speech but at the end of the day, we have a final four- Haley, Manu, Samantha & Damien!
Overall, it was a pretty average show. For the first time this year, the band has been half decent, and I was happy with the lack (or omittance should I say) of cross promotion.
Saying that, watching the judges was still quite cheesy and by the end of the night; you could see they were over it. Even if they weren’t, they gave me that impression with radical voting and weird comments; it just turned to borderline shambles.
The show did try to fill time with endless banter between Dan and the contestants (there’s something about Dan that annoys me) plus the constant look in at the rehearsals for the Instant Dance. If they didn’t keep promoting it in the first half of the show; I wouldn’t have been nearly as annoyed.
Overall, I enjoyed the dancing and there was a bit of humour, but it isn’t good enough for a show coming into its final fortnight.
Now, just a note, I’m not going to be able to watch Tuesday’s reality shows on the night, so I will endeavour to get the Tuesday editions of MasterChef, The Block & AGT up on Wednesday afternoon. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Courtney’s Verdict: 6.8/10