DWTS 14 Week 5: Katherine Jenkins’ almost perfect A. tango

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars” season 14, Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas were almost perfect during the Argentine tango routine. Only head judge Len Goodman thought the couple were less than perfect, giving them a nine for a total of 29 points. Jenkins and Ballas were tied with telenovela star William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke who also danced the Argentine tango.

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Jenkins was high class in a modest corset-style top and a dusty rose-colored slit skirt. I like the way the gathers at the top of the skirt show flowing movement, emphasizing Jenkins’ grace. Jenkins was the only celebrity woman dancing the Argentine tango and her costume was more modest than Cheryl Burke’s low plunging back fringed-skirt costume or Peta Murgatroyd’s barely there one-piece swimsuit with a skirt fire-engine red dress.

Rehearsal video shows that Mark Ballas received several painful crotch shots during her practice ganchos. Ballas portrayed a drunk man who takes up with a woman he meets in a cafe. I don’t see that happening often at your typical milonga. That would be frowned upon and you’d think some gentleman would intercede. Ballas might not have time to properly teach how to do a gancho.

In DWTS, the difference between the Argentine tango and ballroom tango is the hold (notice both are NOT leaning back in Argentine tango), the direction their heads are facing (in the direction they are heading) and lifts are allowed.

At a real milonga, lifts are rarely performed at a dance party and not allowed in most ballroom nightclub Argentine tango competitions, but allowed in show tango but not salon tango. There would be more emphasis on displacements (sacadas) and you’d see giros, voleos and colgadas.

Head judge Len Goodman commented that the thought the performance was like a rose–beautiful on top, but underneath the surface is the thorn, sharp and menacing.

Bruno Tonioli called the dancing and choreography of the finest quality and also said the performance had perfect pitch in the acting and the storytelling.

Carrie Ann Inaba complimented the positioning of Jenkins’ legs, particularly in  lunge positions. Jenkins was able to keep her upper body still and use it to give a nuanced performance while controlling the motion of her lower body. Inaba said it was “poetry in motion.”

Jenkins and Ballas will surely make it through to next week, but will have stiff competition against Levy and Burke. Both Ballas and Burke have won the mirrorball trophy before.  Burke won during season 2 with 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey and the very next season with retired NFL star Emmitt Smith. Ballas also has two mirrorball trophies: from season 6 with Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and season 8 with Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson.

LEADER BOARD

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

By Individual Dance

SALSA

  • ***William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10)*** Week 3
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)

SAMBA

  • ***Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25 (8, 8, 9)***Week 3
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • ***Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskay: 24 (8, 8, 8)***Week 3 ELIMINATED
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
  • Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

ARGENTINE TANGO

  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

 

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About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on April 17, 2012, in Dancing with the Stars Season 14, Katherine Jenkins and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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