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Tumble back to radio, my friend.
Tumble back to radio, my friend.

Pop CultureJune 18, 2018

Dancing with the Stars, week eight: Tumbling through ecstasy

Tumble back to radio, my friend.
Tumble back to radio, my friend.

It’s a wintry theme this week on a Cato-less Dancing with the Stars. Who adjusts to the winter chill and who is left out in the cold? These puns and more in week eight’s power rankings.

Note: Each contestant danced twice this week – once with their partner and once in a team – and I have decided to rank them all together, because this is a lawless and dark existence.

ELIMINATED: Rockin’ Rog (and Carol-Ann) – Tango

Bringing that reflective blue steel.

When you’re in your eighth week of the competition and the response from a judge is literally “You didn’t make any mistakes tonight!” then the bar is set so low for you that you’d have to literally die and be buried to fall short of it.

People like Rog. He’s fun to watch, if that’s your thing. It’s not my thing. It is the opposite of my thing. I have watched Rockin’ Rog for roughly two and a half minutes once a week for eight weeks. This is more Rockin’ Rog than I’d ever anticipated having in my life.

This show has broken me. I have nothing sassy or shady or mean to say about him. He has rockin’ rogged over my bruised and broken soul, and I salute him for it, frankly.

You will diminish, and return to The Rock.

SCORE: 18.

Dai Henwood banter: “This show should be called ‘The Eight Faces of Rog’ Farrelly’!”

7. Jess Quinn, Shav (Shavaughn) Ruakere and Rockin’ (Roger) Rog Farrelly – Paso Doble and Tango

Two of these dancers are not like the other!

This showed such promise! ‘Smooth Criminal’, a tango and a paso doble – suddenly Dancing with the Stars has become Stage Challenge with the Stars – but the actual execution fell flat. Most of the team existed in separation from each other; we were left with the feeling that they were less like a team, but more like they were competing against each other. You know the ‘Murder on the Dancefloor‘ video? Like that.

This is a metaphor for something, surely.

But also… Rockin’ Rog fell over. Again. And people thought it was cute. Which is proof that if you’re a dude on this show, you can be the literal worst-scoring dancer (ie, the dude below) and get pats on the back for doing the very thing you are being paid $1000-$2000 to do very poorly. But if you’re a woman you can do literal backflips and get only slightly better scores.

It’s bullshit, and I should not be this angry about it. But, I am. The world keeps turning/burning.

SCORE: 24.

Dai Henwood banter: Something about leaning too far.

6. David Seymour (and Amelia) – Viennese Waltz

SCORE: 21.

Dai Henwood banter: “This was a very different dance from last week, and this is just a testament to the hard work you have been doing learning those steps,” which is honestly just an accurate description of the show’s concept.

5. Sam Hayes, Chris Harris and David Seymour – Foxtrot and Cha-cha

This was cute and silly and fun! It makes me realise how good Sam Hayes and Chris Harris are, in comparison to David Seymour, who lifts his game a little bit here! It’s a little less Stage Challenge than the other one, and it feels like something you might choreograph with your friends in your living room, if you’re that kind of lame.

However, it is danced to the death-foghorn of a song that is ‘I Gotta Feeling’, so it ranks low here, because I heard that song approximately three hundred thousand times in 2009.

SCORE: 22.

Dai Henwood banter: None! The banter has run dry. The gay ghost is watching Heartbreak Island tonight.

4. Jess Quinn (and Johnny) – Contemporary Dance

Half drama, half bronzer.

It’s the first contemporary dance of the competition, and I have some things to say about it! I am mostly familiar with contemporary dance as a crutch for bad theatre makers to try and make their play ‘modern’ and ‘relevant’. So seeing it in a context outside of a badly written script is actually quite comforting!

This is nice! It’s not Jess’s strongest performance in the competition, but she remains a reliable competitor in a show which seems to eliminate people at random. Who knows who could go home next? It could be anybody, everybody or nobody.

There are no rules here anymore – it’s contemporary dance.

SCORE: 22.

Dai Henwood banter: “That was like beautifully choreographed professional wrestling.” Which is honestly about as good a summary of contemporary dancing as I can think of. Well done, Dai.

3. Chris Harris (and Vanessa) – Waltz

Imagine an older male relative. Maybe it’s your father, your grandfather, your uncle or maybe an old family friend. He’s been divorced twice – his first wife was around before you were born so you don’t quite remember her, but you know his second wife quite well. The second divorce was inevitable but amicable, and thankfully you didn’t have to take sides in the divorce.

Suddenly you find out he’s getting married to a third woman, someone you’ve only met a few times and you knew they were seeing each other, but the engagement was a real shock. Maybe she works with him at his advertising firm, and they got to know each other over Friday drinks.

You’re invited to the wedding because of course you are, you’ve known this guy since you were a child. And you’re sceptical about this – third time is often the charm, but not usually when it comes to love and marriage. He’s after her youth, she needs a strong and stable figure…there’s just something about this that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable – and worried. And you don’t like it. You don’t like being worried for someone who should have their shit together.

But then you see them dance. And you’re convinced. These cats are in love. They’re gonna make it. You don’t need to be worried.

That’s what it was like watching this dance between Chris and Vanessa.

SCORE: 27.

Dai Henwood banter: “Chris, Vanessa, I sort of wish I was Vanessa and you and I were getting married and that was our first dance.” Dai, you, me and the gay ghost residing in the lighting rig of the South Pacific Pictures studios are on the same page here.

2. Sam Hayes (and Aaron) – Contemporary Dance

I have no shade or sass here. This is a brilliant song choice (Maroon 5’s Cold, a song which I would not call brilliant in literally any other circumstances), an electric performance, and Hayes’ strongest performance yet. My screenshots do not do this justice.

SCORE: 29.

Dai Henwood banter: “A gold medal for the rhythmic gymnastics!”

1. Shavaughn (Shav) Ruakere (and Enrique) – Foxtrot

Bringing that mid-90s Madonna realness.

Shavaughn tops herself again this week, and brings us high-high-high-drama with this week’s foxtrot. And when you’re doing a dance to one of Madonna’s best songs, ‘Frozen’, you need to bring as much drama as the song demands. This is the song that gave us a music video with Madonna doing her best riff on The Craft, the album version is six minutes long and she turns into a bunch of crows at the end of it.

Shav brings the drama, and supports it with a stunning, athletic and genuinely beautiful foxtrot. No shade here. With our biggest and best contenders gone, Shav positions herself as a favourite to win, if the public come through like the judges finally have.


SCORE: 26.

Dai Henwood banter: “Shav… and ‘rique.” Even Dai is ambivalent about this Shavrique portmanteau.

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