The final five on "Dance Your Ass Off" are pulling double duty this week performing two dances on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Our lovely host Marissa Jaret Winokur kicks of the show but introducing the package for rehearsal week. This week's challenge was introduced to the remaining five contestants via a notecard Alicia found in the kitchen. Everyone will be doing two dances – a Tango and a Hip Hop number. They suss out which of them has an advantage and who doesn't. Ruben already knows he's going to have problems with Hip Hop. Speaking of Ruben, my goodness he's lost sooooo much weight. Also, as a surprise, they get a Hip Hop class from famous fitness instructor/dancer Madonna Grimes.
Naturally, after the recap, we're introduced to our judges Mayte Garcia, Lisa Ann Walters, and Danny Teeson. Marissa explains that the Hip Hop numbers are first and the dance order is random. The second round of Tangos is when we'll find out which two contestants have lost the least percentage of weight this week.
1. Mara & Paul
Song: A butchered "Get UR Freak On" a la Missy Elliott
Her personal rehearsal recap was cool because we saw how Paul handled the Tango choreography and Mara had the covered on Hip Hop. Hooray for teamwork! The routine is very good and Mara's giving me great attitude. The show stealer was her doing a split into a layout at the end. Crazy. Mayte says she could do a music video right now. Danny was very entertained. Lisa Ann thought "it was all there."
Score: 8.7 (9-8-9)
2. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Song: "1, 2 Step" a la Ciara
Pinky's really frustrated this week since she's putting in a lot of work but keeps ending up in the bottom. She also hasn't been feeling like she has enough energy for her workouts. A meeting with nutritionist Meg Werner Moreta, MS RD results in bumping up the daily calorie limit from 1,950 to 2,000. Pinky's hitting the moves hard but I noticed there were a few parts where she was smidge off. It wasn't bad but I think she may suffer from high expectations. Lisa Ann compliments her on her isolated movements but wanted more uses of the floor. Danny notes that having two dances to memorize worked a bit against her this week but loved it anyway. Mayte also noticed that she was thinking about the steps but she recovered and hit the moves harder after.
Score: 8.3 (8-9-8)
3. Shayla & Mario
Song: Fake-me-out "Temperature" a la Sean Paul
Shayla's connection with Mario goes very deep because they're from the same area. The strategy for this routine is "something you could see in a club" versus the hard hitting number they did before. She's giving me all kinds of attitude. I wanted a little more curve in some of the movements but it was a great number that ended with a lift. Danny said it was a great number and thinks she could dance any style. Lisa Ann liked that she was sexy and powerful. Mayte loved it the same way Lisa Ann did.
4. Alicia & Italo
Song: "Closer" a la Ne-Yo
I'm still mad at her for not giving Ruben her phone call last week so I don't care about her rehearsal week recap. Not only is the version of the song so terrible, she's a little over the top with the faces. And by a little I mean a lot. It was awkward at points but she did some floor stuff that was pretty impressive considering her lack of experience. Not terrible but not as good as the previous dances. Mayte noted she was a little off at times but thought it was a good routine. Lisa Ann says she looks adorable but some of the smaller movements were lost. Danny says it's obvious she doesn't have the natural grove other contestants have but she makes up for it in personality.
Song: "Right Now (Na Na Na)" a la Akon
Though not winning the phone call home last week hurt, Ruben is still focused on the big picture. Ruben admits that Hip Hop is a bit hard for him since he's trained in ballet but is doing his best. I liked that this had a late 80's music video vibe to it. I think he did a good job overall, though I could tell he was concentrating. Lisa Ann thought they had fantastic synchronicity. Mayte could relate as she'd also transitioned from trained ballerina to Hip Hop, loved the partnering, and loved that he hit the moves hard. Danny called it a "little black dress" – it was basic and made him look as good as possible – but advises to break out a "Bob Mackie Ball Gown" during the Tango.
Score: 8.3 (9-8-8)
6. Alicia & Italo
Song: "Maneater" a la Nelly Furtado
Her frame is not good but bonus points for that little turn with her leg on his shoulder. There wasn't enough tension in her body during the dance therefore there was no sharpness. It lacked impact for me. And this is not just because I'm mad at her. Mayte agrees she needed to be more sharp and precise. Lisa Ann's only point of contention was her posture. Danny also thinks it was missing sharpness but that she acted the roll.
Score: 7.3 (6-8-8) – 7.7 for both dances
Weightloss: 2.80% (-6.4 lbs) – You can really see her progress. I'm not a fan but congrats.
7. Ruben & Hilary
Song: "Buttons (Remix)" a la Pussycat Dolls
Ruben is giving me the sharpness and tension that I'm looking for as well as masculine attitude and drive to the movements. Great job. Mayte said he was in the zone. Lisa Ann said it was the dance for him. Danny loved every last bit of it too.
Score: 10 (10-10-10) – 9.2 for both dances & the first perfect score
Weightloss: 2.40% (-6.4 lbs)
8. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Song: "Hot N Cold" a la Katy Perry
She's looks fantastic and has very good posture. She still needs a little work on the feet for these ballroom dances but there's definite improvement. The choreography was fab, including some cool flexibility moves. Mayte could tell she struggled a bit with the partner work but enjoyed it overall. Lisa Ann thinks the hold was really good though there was enough Tango time. Though Danny prefers a traditional Tango versus a more modern one, he thought she did a great job.
Score: 7.7 (7-7-9) – 8.0 for both dances
Weightloss: 3.70% (-6.4 lbs) – This is her first big loss of the season and started crying when she saw the number
The Bottom Two
Alicia has the lowest score and is in danger of going home if Mara or Shayla can out-do her.
Song: "Hey Sexy Lady" a la Shaggy
I neglected to mention how you can see she's lost a lot of weight. She looks even more sleek than last week. I appreciated the intensity they brought. The choreography was full of content which I'm sure will make the judges happy. Mayte loved the posture and passion. Lisa Ann said her attention to details was impressive. Danny appreciated that she improved her arms and posture from the last Tango as he requested.
Weightloss: 1.21% (-2.9 lbs)
2. Shayla & Mario
Song: "Poker Face" a la Lady Gaga
Her intensity and hold are very good but there is something slightly odd going on. Oh…it might be that her ankle is still tender. It doesn't really matter though since the lifts, splits and fantastic legs she's rocking are pretty stellar. Fab. Mayte said she saw passion, romanticism, and elegance. Lisa Ann said she performed beautifully. Danny loved the snap and subtle sexiness but her quiet confidence is what sets her apart.
Weightloss: 1.31% (-2.4 lbs)
Score: 9.0 (9-8-10) – 9.4 for both dances
Either Alicia or Mara will be eliminated. Mara needs a 9.3 overall average in order to stay in the competition. Mayte gave her a 10 and Lisa Ann gave her an 8. It's up to Danny once again to deliver the news. Unfortunately, he only give her an 8 giving her an 8.7 average and a 9.91 total. Boo!
Pinky and Shayla are crying in the contestants seats as Marissa hands the mic to Mara. She tells them she loves them and thanks everyone. She's lost 26 pounds during her time here and I'm definitely going to miss her.
Next week, the contestants perform twice again – an 80's inspired number and a Foxtrot. They'll also get visits from their loved ones.
What did you think of tonight's show? I think Alicia's Tango was overscored, especially considering how much better everyone else's numbers were. Are the judges making exceptions for her because she's not as naturally gifted/trained as the other contestants? Is that fair? Or do you think I'm crazy to think that?
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