We’re past the halfway point of the competition, and it’s time to go clubbing! Sam Brooks power-ranks the fourth week of Dancing with the Stars NZ.
I had the pleasure of being in the DWTS studio on Sunday night, and can I tell you one thing? Watching people do a full-on dance routine to Darude’s ‘Sandstorm’ onscreen is nothing compared to seeing in person. Sorry, y’all! (See this and other behind-the-scenes observations from Alex Casey and me in our behind the scenes piece tomorrow!).
Anyway, this week was a mixture of “club bangers” and “my jams”, and it did not disappoint. Obviously, it can’t be this high energy every week, but I truly believe that DWTS thrives when it can have a little fun, and encourage the dancers to have a little fun as well.
I wish this could be a power listing, because after talking to a few of the professionals last week and seeing the routines up close, I’d rank them all first equal. But I can’t, so on we go into week four of our power rankings.
ELIMINATED: Alex Vaz (and Brittany Coleman) – cha cha and quickstep
Is there anything worse than a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’? Nay, say I. Still, this was super fun. As the judges said, Alex seems to be enjoying himself more than in previous weeks (egged on by acting coach Siobhan Marshall) and if he is having fun dancing to a clubby cover of ‘Dreams’, then who am I to yuck his yum? The second dance was joyous and lovely, and it felt like a good way for Alex to say goodbye to the show.
5. Eric Murray (and Loryn Reynolds) – jive and tango
Shout out, once more, to Loryn Reynolds, for moving the “big unit” that is Eric Murray around the stage as effortlessly as I am typing these words (probably moreso, if I’m being honest with you). Eric remains not the best dancer on the show, but this is all about giving it a go until a mixture of public vote and judges’ scores decide that the going is gone. You can do a whole lot worse than a tango to ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, a stirring tribute to my mild dust allergies.
4. Dave Letele (and Kristie Williams) – quickstep
OK, take what I said about club covers of ‘Dreams’ and apply it to any, literally any, cover of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’. It’s a perfect song, and should remain untouched – just worshipped as one of the best songs of the ’80s. This was still, of course, great fun. Dave dropped the bombshell that he has had nine surgeries, and the fact that he’s doing this at all, let alone still in the competition, is worthy of a standing O. No notes, keep being on the telly, Dave Letele (shamelessly stolen from Randell, sorry!).
As for the second dance? I love comedy bits! I love bits… outside of dancing competitions, sorry to say it.
3. Jazz Thornton (and Brad Coleman) – paso doble and viennese waltz
It says a lot about Jazz’s success in the competition that a dance as accomplished as her paso doble gets dinged by the judges. I’m not sure if it was as clear on the broadcast as it was in person, but her feet were moving so quickly they barely seemed to touch the ground at some points. I think Jazz is still pretty much a lock for the finale, though the kind of “fierceness” required of the paso doble is arguably just a bit out of her performing range, so the judges’ criticism must have stung.
As for ‘Breakaway’? Classic Jazz song. Classic Jazz performance. Well done! Very good dance, very good performance, very Jazz.
2. Brodie Kane (and Enrique Johns) – quickstep
Brodie is a great example of the kind of dancer you’d see on Dancing with the Stars, then see in a more casual dancing setting (da club) and not be intimidated, but actually want to dance with her. She makes dancing seem fun, because it should be fun! She’s come miles since the start of this competition, from a stompy paso doble to her fleet-footed jive this week. No notes, just vibes!
Also, I say this as the highest of compliments: Brodie Kane is exactly the kind of person who would do a cha cha to Anastacia’s ‘I’m Outta Love’.
1. Rhys Mathewson (and Phoebe Robb) – samba and foxtrot
The scores speak for themselves, you guys. Rhys is great, and probably the only contestant on this show who is likely to give us a Mask (Jim Carrey, not Rocky Dennis) themed dance.
So what I’m gonna focus on is how much fun Rhys seems to be having. How could one not have fun dancing to Jessie J’s ‘Domino’, arguably the best Jessie J song (not the highest bar to clear, I grant you)? After a few weeks of shock eliminations and drama, it’s nice to lean back and engage in the simplest and most visceral pleasure the show has to offer us: someone really enjoying moving across a floor for our entertainment (and for charity).