Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22 Blog: Week 6

Doug Flutie has left the ballroom. The crowd chanted his
name when it was announced that he was the one eliminated last night and it was
a sad goodbye. Although he was not the best dancer, his performances always
brought joy to my heart. Doug is someone who gave it everything he had, no
matter how hard it was for him, and I have nothing but respect for him. I’m
happy that his final dance seemed to feel good on his body and that he
found a connection to the dances in a
way he had not before. Can’t wait to see him back in the ballroom for the
finale in a few weeks.

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic
(Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

On a side note, I’ve seen Leona Lewis in the ballroom
three times this season. I wonder if she is considering being a contestant on
the show. Last night the audience was filled with fun folks. Michael Sam was in
the house, Marissa Jaret Winokur an Lance Bass and Joey Fatone from *NSYNC all
came for famous dances night. Famous Dance Night at DWTS can be a challenge
because when you reenact an iconic dance, you are stepping into some very large
shoes to fill. And last night’s dances were not easy dances to reenact. I would
say the most difficult ones were, Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” choreographed
by Jeffrey Daniels, Janet Jackson’s “Nasty,” choreographed by Paula
Abdul, and Pink’s “Try,” choreographed by RJ Durell and Nick Florez. Because
these dances were music videos, they were created to specifically highlight the
singer’s unique style. They weren’t only about great dancing. The chore of the
DWTS choreographer was to find a way to recreate these dances with their
nonprofessional dancer and highlight what is great about them without losing
what was great about the original. Once again, just a quick shout out to all
the dancers who choreograph these routines every week.  

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

WATCH: Doug Flutie Reacts To His ‘Dancing’ Elimination

What I loved about Von and Witney’s dance was the way Von
attacked the dance. There is no other Michael Jackson. He was so unique in the
way he moved, just like Prince (another talent that we sadly lost last week). These
are people who shaped generations of artists with their unique style and
presence. It’s hard to copy. But while Von may not be the King of Pop, he is
the King of the Super Bowl and I enjoyed seeing his athletic power and presence
come through in that dance. He’s a powerful man, quiet perhaps, but powerful
without a doubt and his rendition of “Bad” was absolutely powerful
and I could see him get lost (in a good way) in the character of MJ. Well done,
Von.

Carrie-Ann-Inabas-Dancing-With-The-Stars-Season-22-Blog-Week-6
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22 Blog: Week 6 (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

What I also didn’t love so much about Ginger and Val’s
remake of “Nasty” was that she didn’t fully find her true “Nasty
Girl.” She danced it well and it was obviously well rehearsed. I thought
she looked beautiful and powerful in the outfit, she nailed all the dancing
parts, but when it came to the sections that were mostly about the attitude
Janet Jackson embodied, she just didn’t either embody Janet or come up with her
own “Nasty Girl” persona. But Ginger is a strong contender in this
competition. She works hard, she gets
the choreography and she’s very likable. She doesn’t tap into the areas where she is primal or where she is raw,
but there are a few more weeks in the competition. I would like to see her go
beyond the nice girl that she is, and find a deeper strength in her dancing and
more depth into the colors of her performance on an emotional level. But so
far, she hasn’t had dances that really challenge her to do that. So she’s been
doing very well. Go Ginger!

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

Jodie and Keo danced to “Try” by Pink. The music video is a memorable
display of incredible athleticism, aggression and show a couple fighting through
dance and contact improv. It’s violent but artistic and while it was not my
taste in dance as it translated onto the DWTS ballroom, Jodie and Keo danced
the heck out of it. I have nothing but respect for their journey this week,
which was difficult. But through her difficulty and struggle we are finally getting
to see who she really is. We can see how
she is a survivor and how she is very able to take those emotions now, and run
them through her movement and the choreography. She’s passionately fighting to stay in the competition and it was so
real, so visceral. I was deeply impressed with her authenticity this week. There
was nothing put on about that performance. It had danger, and passion and raw
emotion that simmered over the incredible prowess she showcased in her dancing.
Well done. 

A bit of a letdown last night was Nyle and Peta’s dance
to “The Mask.” That was a tough one though on many levels. We have
seen Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough dance this before and it was one of
the best dances we’ve ever had on DWTS. They were sharp and clean and had great
technique. I felt bad for Nyle who had to wear what looked like an
uncomfortable mask the whole day, but appreciated the commitment. I’ve worn
things like that before and it’s claustrophobic and difficult to breathe. But
Nyle brought the character to life, like Jim Carey did in the film. When he put
on the mask, he embodied the wild personality of the mask. What wasn’t good was
his technique. I love that he is comparing himself to the dancers, it shows
that he loves the dancing and is getting into it. But I would warn him gently
to be careful not to get overconfident. We’ve seen it in the past where
contestants get over confident and they lose the audience’s support because of
it. Our pros have trained lifetimes to be as good as they are. And we always need to respect that. If I
break it down again, Nyle needs to work on his frame. He needs to keep his arms in proper
alignment, and he needs to work on his footwork. If you want to compare
yourself to the pros, you give the judges no place to go but to judge you
against the pros. So, be careful of proper footwork, make sure the legs are
straight when they need to be straight, watch the distance in your hold and the
points of contact and most of all, your posture and frame. But on a more
positive note, Nyle is a charismatic performer who really has a special quality
about him that is very emotional and very inspiring. And I’m looking forward to
what he and Peta bring to the floor next week.

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

My favorite performances were by Kim and Sasha to “Hairspray,” Wanya and Lindsay
to “Bye Bye Bye,” Antonio and Sharna’s “Footloose,” and
Paige and Mark’s “Austin Powers” remake of the opening credits. Kim
didn’t score that high because her energy was lower than usual and she missed a
few steps, but that was quickly on its way to being a 10 until I saw her energy
drop and when she lost time on a few steps. For me, Kim is underrated. She fades into the background shadowed by larger
personalities on this season. She has to do something that is exciting and
unexpected. Just doing good, cute dances week after week may not keep her in
the competition. But she is a very good dancer and a wonderful performer. I
want her to push past her safe boundaries though.

Paige and Mark are so strong, each week, they come back
with great numbers and incredible performances. I love her physicality and her
artistry, the way they come together with such an effervescent energy. She’s
really a joy to watch. It worries me that she was in jeopardy this week.  I wonder if people are voting for her. I hope
so because she’s really great.

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 6 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

Wanya and Lindsay were my favorite this week. That number
was way too cool for school and has anyone noticed how thin Wanya is getting?
He’s lost so much weight and he’s getting even better as he thins out. The
choreography was incredible and really cool and innovative. They reminded us of
the original performance with the intro but Lindsay and Wanya took it to a new
level and owned that dance. They owned
the night as far as I’m concerned. And Bruno agreed. Antonio came back with a
bang… it was fun to see those feet in action. His Jive was very well suited for
his athleticism. When he did those shuffles the beginning, his feel barely
touched the ground. And that performance closed the night with a bang. I’m
proud of him for what he taught us all about teamwork with his discussion with
Sharna, but anyone who knows Sharna knows she’s 100% behind him and with him for
the long haul. She’s a dedicated partner and he has nothing to worry about. But
I will say that I (and the whole ballroom) were deeply moved by his teamwork
speech. Go Steeler Nation.

Can’t wait for next week! Double Elimination. These couples better work hard this week and
give us their best, because this season the competition is fierce. There is no
consistent front-runner. It’s going to be a close race all the way to the end!

Stay happy and healthy everyone. See you next week!

Fashion Credits:

The dress is Badgley Mischka and
the jewelry is XIV Karats

Carrie Ann Inaba

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