Marama Fox is gone, god is dead, but Dancing with the Stars is still here – with TRIO dances? Sam Brooks power ranks whoever is left on this show.
ELIMINATED: Robert Rakete (and Nicole AND Fabio) – Cha cha
The big problem with these trio dances is the celebrity ends up being their very own left shark. They become the sideshow when they should be the leading act, the Ashlee Simpson to the Jessica Simpson, the Noah Cyrus to the Miley Cyrus, so on and so forth.
It’s a lovely dance, it’s a silly dance, but… it’s nowhere near the light-my-boxers-on-fire performance that he gave last week, and it’s sad to see him kind of return to coasting through the competition, and to be overshadowed by the two dancers around him.
It’s sad to see Robbie go home this early, but he’s consistently gotten weak smiles from the judges and hasn’t been one of the contestants who has blown up on social media for being especially good or especially bad – talent aside, which rarely matters in this competition – this feels like the right time to go home.
Adieu, Robbie. The Breeze will treat you well, as it always has.
Dai Henwood banter: “How does it feel like when they speak Italian about you?” What.
7. David Seymour (and Amelia and Brittany) – Foxtrot
Let’s be real: David Seymour is by far the worst dancer here and continuing to give him points for getting up there and doing it is embarrassing for everybody involved. The judges can’t even muster up a ‘oh my god he’s so bad he’s good’ enthusiasm for him now. Like a pizza left in the fridge for two days, the charm has worn off.
So in lieu of commenting on his dancing (it’s worse than bad, it’s boring) I am going to give you some context-free excerpts from Seymour’s 2017 book, Own Your Future, which I have read cover-to-cover:
“Auckland Grammar is a particularly barbaric place for some kids. I vividly remember one kid getting a tennis ball to the head, it bounced lightly but its power was symbolic.”
“It’s not a free for all. ISIS can’t set up terrorism schools with government funding.”
“Since you’re reading this right now, it’s probably difficult to imagine life for a person who can’t read.”
“Around half of adult New Zealanders have tried cannabis. Some of them, of course, have more than just tried it, they’ve taken to it like ducks to water.”
“Forest Hill Road is etched on my mind because my high school crush lived up there in the Waitakere ranges.”
Dai Henwood banter: Something about Mt. Epsom busting out of David Seymour’s shirt.
6. Rockin’ Rog (Roger) Farrelly (and Chloe-Ann AND Kirsten) – Paso Doble
I regret to inform you all that, despite Robert Rakete rescuing heterosexuality from the damnation of hell (even on a provisional basis!), Roger Farrelly has once more confirmed that heterosexuality is a sin.
I don’t make the rules, I just publicise and enforce them.
Dai Henwood banter: “That was just stoic, staunch movement.”
5. Shavaughn (Shav) Ruakere (and Enrique AND Krystal) – Jive
Firstly, ‘Hey Ya’ is a great song. It was great in 2003. It remains great now, regardless of how many white boy buskers want to strip back everything that makes ‘Hey Ya’ great and turn it into an acoustic dirge to their Holden Caulfield-esque childhoods. It’s a solid choice for a jive (this is coming from someone who barely knows what a jive is, so grains, salt, etc).
Shav performs well here, but… she’s a back-up dancer. She’s doing back-up for Enrique’s solid B+ Andre 3000 impression, and she disappears a little bit into the background. It’s especially true given now that she’s also dancing with Krystal, who is, you know, a professional dancer and acquits herself very well because… it’s dancing. This is her job. She is very good at it. Being dressed in the same outfit also doesn’t help matters – it turns Shav into an accessory when she should be the celebrity.
But, she’s still charming as hell, and she maintains a goofiness befitting of a song that asks us to shake a Polaroid picture, which I did one time and it absolutely ruined it! I will never forgive you, Andre MMM (a bit of Roman numeral humour for you there.)
Dai Henwood banter: “Enrique you were ripping off skirts and showing their… pink scenarios.” Continuing my theory that Dai Henwood has been possessed by a gay ghost who is haunting the SPP studios, and that gay ghost is angling for a Gloss reboot hard.
4. Jess Quinn (and Johnny AND James) – Viennese Waltz
Kudos to this version of ‘Hallelujah’ for being the worst version of ‘Hallelujah’ I have ever heard. Since being thrust into the iconic film Shrek in 2001, ‘Hallelujah’ has been dragged out for montages, award shows, and films so much that any of the weirdly sexual, dark and subversive power that the song holds has been drained out of the song. Now it exists to wring emotion out of people, much like a Chinese burn wrings ‘please stop’ out of children on the playground.
The definitive version is kd lang’s at the Juno Awards. There is no other. I’ve never heard of Jeff Buckley and his guitar. This version of ‘Hallelujah’ is a weird remix of Alexandra Burke’s full Whitney version of it, and a subpar Pentatonix version of it. (For the record, I assumed that a Pentatonix version of this song was hypothetical, until Google proved me wrong. We live in the worst timeline.)
Jess remains a great competitor. She’s one of the few dancers who stays whose charisma stays strong even as part of trio – she has a way of connecting with her fellow dancers (and even more crucially, the camera) in a way that few of the other celebrities in the competition have managed, and that’s amplified when there’s two people to dance with.
Dai Henwood banter: Nothing, he was pretty straight. As in, conspicuously a gay ghost trying not to be a gay ghost.
3. Sam Hayes (and Aaron AND Daniel) – Viennese Waltz
On the flip side of the trio dance thing, when your choreography is showcasing your celebrity, it really really shows them off. Over the past weeks, I’ve had a feeling that the usually charismatic and compelling Hayes has been overshadowed. Sometimes it’s by a bad song choice, sometimes it’s an ostentatious song choice, sometimes it’s the concept and sometimes it’s just her fellow dancer – but this dance shows off the magnetic Hayes that we’re used to watching on the news.
I have nothing sassy to say, other than that ‘Say Something’ is a mouldy, soggy blanket of a song and should stay in the hellscape whence it came – in this case, 2012. It gave Christina Aguilera (or the artist known as ‘feat. Christina Aguilera’) a number one hit and I respect it for that and nothing else.
Dai Henwood banter: “The emotion, the tension, the drama, how’s your body holding up after the lifts and slow spins?”
2. Chris Harris (and Vanessa AND Scott!) – Paso Doble
Okay, so Live’s ‘Lightning Crashes’ is the song I listen to when I’m feeling insurmountably down and really need a massive laugh. It’s a song that starts with the line, said with zero irony, “Lightning crashes / a new mother cries / her placenta falls to the floor.” It is one of the dumbest songs to ever be recorded and I love it deeply.
It is the very definition of heterosexual camp – by which I mean something that is so heterosexual, so straight, and so lacking in humour that it becomes the funniest thing possible. Daniel Mallory Ortberg coined this term, and I am borrowing it from him. New Zealand examples of heterosexual camp would include our love of the comedian Chopper, the film Scarfies and the work of Head Like A Hole.
I am happy to report that I am wrong, the very definition of heterosexual camp is former Black Hat Chris Harris dancing a paso doble to ‘Lightning Crashes’.
SCORE: 27, somehow the highest score in the competition thus far.
Dai Henwood banter: “That was like a sensual version of the movie Highlander!” Gay. Ghost.
1. Suzy Cato (and Matt AND Shae) – Tango
See above re: heterosexual camp and see below re: pure homosexual Fifth Element realness camp. This is what we’ve wanted from Suzy. She’s done little riffs and subversions of her kids TV persona throughout the competition, but here for the first time she throws it all away and puts on another image entirely. It works, it’s the kind of thing that reality TV like this exists to do, and it’s a shame it’s taken until week six to get here.
Again, to wit:
She’s going to win this thing, you guys. I’ve said it since the start.
Dai Henwood banter: “The pony’s tied down – you look like a sort of sci-fi queen!”
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