Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:


Monday, November 9

Showstopper Night on Dancing with the Stars! And then there were 6!  The show opened straight to the introduction of the couples.  Tom and Erin hosted.  The celebs danced about personal experiences (although the only topic I can recall was Alexa’s), devoting about 30 seconds to dancing without their respective pros.  Afterward, three sets of two couples competed in showstopper performances.  How they can master so much in one week or less is amazing.


  1. Alek Skarlatos: Salsa. Judges’ score 8. My score 8.

Does it seem to you as though the judges sometimes pick on him? They rarely score him as high as they should.  However, this week the scores are accurate.  The problem appeared to be with Lindsay’s choreography.  I can’t imagine that he would refuse to do the appropriate hip action, so I have to blame either Lindsay or the producers.  What was up with that?!  She gave him very little salsa hip work to do, so we saw him do little.  Instead, she or the producers mostly had him just physically supporting her while she danced and sort of posing with her and two other girls (Jenna and Brittany, if I recall correctly–sorry, I was so shocked by the lousy choreography) around him.  What was that about?  There was no real reason to have the other girls involved; traditionally that’s done only when a contestant has little dance skill.  But Alek is actually a good dancer, so get with the program and show him off consistently, DWTS! (And I don’t mean extensive footage of chest-waxing.) Alek is a sweet guy who has genuine dance skills–he deserves much better treatment than this! I’m ashamed of how he was treated this week.


  1. Alexa PenaVega: Contemporary.     Judges’ score 10. My score 11!

Mark produced an amazingly creative, breathtakingly ingenious, and absolutely stellar dance to represent Alexa’s former battle with bulimia, an eating disorder that resulted when she was a child actress after a director/producer told her she was fat (when she didn’t really appear to be). How terrible for her!  The dance was intense and dramatic and bold, to say the least.  An open window with sheer honesty to the level of pain she endured.  From the core to the core!  WOW!  Julianne said “Raw.”  Right on!  I held my breath for a second, then turned to my husband and said, “Look how Mark did that with her fighting off the bulimia!  OMG!  That was fabulous!”  I loved it and would love to see it again and again.  The dance of the night! Mark should be nominated to receive an Emmy for this one!


  1. Carlos PeneVega: Argentine Tango. Judges’ score 9. My score 8.5.

This dance was mostly traditional, with good posture, drama, and sharp flicks; often seemed to be more intense when they were apart than when together. A tad too busy at times (I prefer a traditional, smoother flow), but well done.  I liked I pretty well.


  1. Bindi Irwin: Viennese Waltz. Judges’ score 10. My score 10.

Beautifully and gracefully expressive. Daring moves with full trust.

I couldn’t look away–it was gorgeous!  She’s adorable and so talented!

I don’t understand, though, why producers decided to show Derek having trouble coming up with the choreography, unless it was just to use time.


  1. Tamar Braxton: Contemporary. Judges’ scores 8-7-7. My score 8.

Tamar has been ill for two weeks or so. I’ve had pneumonia, so I know from experience that it can become extremely serious very quickly–even cause death–and it’s nothing to mess with.  I can’t imagine where she gets the strength even to do the dance workouts, let alone to also do her show and whatever else she has going on.  She must be on high-strength antibiotics!  Still, though, if you’d been so sick for so long, why would you suddenly go to the hospital between dress rehearsal and the live performance?  And why did Val not know that she had left the studio?  Strange.  Anyway, the judges had to score their dance from the dress rehearsal.  I found it to be intense, passionate, dramatic, correct, expressive, graceful yet athletic, and pretty (especially her arms and hands, as always), and well done overall.  Julianne and Bruno unnecessarily scored down to a 7.  Imagine how high their scores would have been if she had felt well–definitely would have knocked Carlos out of the running.


  1. Nick Carter: Quickstep. Judges’ scores 9-9-10. My score 8.5.

Cute, stylish, smooth, fun, very entertaining. It was traditional except that Nick and Sharna were not in hold enough, something that the adorable and ultra-talented Sharna should have known and for which Bruno should have reduced his score.




  1. Alek/Lindsay with Carlos/Witney in a paso doble to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” The pre-dance package of Alek and Carlos goofing around was cute. The dance was fun and enjoyable, but I agreed with Carrie Ann that too many of the dance’s movements were too small for the large movements that are required by the paso and by such a huge song.  Judges’ score 8. My score 8.


  1. Alexa/Mark and Bindi/Derek in a Charleston/jazz to “All that Jazz” from the film/play “Chicago.” The second dance of the night! Intensely detailed and on point with leg/foot and arm/hand movements, and facial expressions. Great fun. Alexa’s 2 for 2!                   Judges’ score 10. My score 10.


  1. Nick/Sharna and Tamar/Val in a rhumba to “Hey Jude.” Tamar arrived in the “nick” of time (hee-hee). As such a professional and dedicated performer, Tamar threw herself into the dance and appeared to enjoy it.  All things considered, she did well.  Afterward, during the discussion/scoring process, she alternated bravery with showing genuinely major fatigue, sweating (was the fever back?), and a struggle to persist in front of the camera.  I couldn’t wait for them to just leave her alone.  Had Tamar not been ill, her team could have had 10s.         Judges’ score 9. My score 9.


WHO WAS ELIMINATED TONIGHT? Alexa (gasp!)! What a letdown right after two perfect-10 performances!  No, this is not the first time that a contestant was sent home after earning perfect scores.  Alexa was understandably upset, and I felt awful for her.  Carlos was more upset than anyone else; the level of tears was a bit much unless he was overly shocked by the whole thing, expecting to go home himself.  A raw deal for Alexa, who should feel proud!


In my mind, America got it wrong: Carlos should have gone home. He’s a good dancer, but she’s better.  What do you think?


WHO SHOULD GO HOME NEXT WEEK? Carlos or, I hate to say it, Alek.


Reminder: This season is slated to conclude during Thanksgiving week. Wouldn’t it be nice to have only 3 in the finale?

Go to http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/news/updates/dancing-with-the-stars-live-tour-pro-dancers-announced-10262015?om_mid=_BWNiEDB9HMaqi8&om_swid=AA6cAm&cid=emailday_110115, if you want to see more about the DWTS Live—Dance All Night Tour, or refer to my last week’s blog to see the tour schedule and list of pros for Dec. 15 to Feb. 14, from coast to coast and at a site or two in Canada.  A few cities have a matinee and an evening performance on the same day, restricted to age 19 and above, which seems to indicate that Val’s claim of “outrageous costumes” was true.


Vickie L. Weaver

Vickie L. Weaver

Owner at Writestyle
Writing has been an important talent and part of my life since I was a child.Professionally, after decades of employment for others, I founded Writestyle in 1996 to provide writing, editing, proofreading, training, and more to clients worldwide (www.writestyle.com).Clients often call my work “magic.”I have written and/or edited for “Coexistence Magazine” (national), for “Ohio Magazine,” and for various newspapers.In addition, I have edited or contributed to the writing of numerous books.Personally, I have written in various genres.I have always composed poetry; as such, I have won awards and publication for some of my poems, and I am compiling a book of my poetry.One of my children’s books is set for publication.With my second husband, family and friends in Ohio, I enjoy music and dance, aid charitable causes, and strive for beauty and harmony in life.
Vickie L. Weaver

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