It was the ‘Switch up’ challenge this week on Dancing with the Stars. And the most fun gossip leading up to the telecast, was that the youngest ladies were traumatized with the thought of becoming Val’s partner! Maybe that’s why he looked so harmless, costumed as a geriatric gentleman?
Antonio and Allison started off the competition with an entertaining Bollywood routine. Their costumes were suitably very colorful – I really liked the gold metallic trim with the hot pink and green. Their fabrics and trims created lots of texture with shiny and matte, along with brocade prints and smooth solid colors. Allison’s bra-top with belted harem pants coordinated well with Antonio’s tunic, waist sash and harem pants. I gave this couple an 8 out of 10 for their costumes.
Because of the ‘street cred’ needed, Hip Hop costumes almost never get a high rating from me. However, Bethany and Mark’s Hip Hop costumes this week rated a 7 out of 10. They channeled the 80’s and both costumes were attractive. Bethany’s black stretch satin Lycra leggings hit at her natural waistline (an 80’s design detail) with a belt, and were paired with a textured and cropped red jacket over a simple black crop top. I enjoyed Mark’s black polka dotted jacket, worn with basic shirt, jeans and shoes.
Jonathan and Peta danced a poorly scored Jitterbug routine. Jonathan wore a basic ‘nerd’ outfit and Peta wore a bright yellow 50’s inspired ruffled bra-top and full, printed and petticoated skirt. I’m still not quite sure why suspenders accessorized her costume and, apparently, they didn’t work out so well for her either as they didn’t stay attached. I gave the pair an 8, for effort with their costuming.
Then came Alfonso and Cheryl performing the Flamenco in fabulous costumes, and Janel and Artem performing a steamy Burlesque routine, also in fabulous costumes. I rated both couples 9.5 out of 10 –nearly perfect!
I admit it – I love ruffles on a manly man and Alfonso was no exception! He wore his white ruffled jabot and blousy sleeves as well as Prince (and most Pirates) would have. He looked dapper in his slimming black vest and trousers ensemble while Cheryl wore a scanty white lace costume with a light and airy organza skirt, and lots and lots of skin-toned mesh. I loved it! The mesh allowed for a very naked-looking costume without cumbersome straps here and there.
The dance moves may have been a bit risqué, but Janel’s costume was sexy without being too naked looking. I loved her black trimmed, burgundy beaded costume. Artem was sans a shirt, but the parts of his costume that were there, were fun. The pinstriped pant, suspenders and a 40’s style black cummerbund accented his physique. Ooh, la la for all four of these costumes!
After experiencing the joy of the previous two couples’ costumes, I was sorely disappointed with Michael and Witney’s Disco costumes. The country look for Witney was not Disco-inspired and Michael’s sorry excuse for a 70’s print shirt was only made worse by his loose, baggy jeans. Neither wore a Disco-inspired silhouette, and Michael just looked frumpy. I was generous in awarding them a 6 out of 10. In reality, a 6 was OK for Witney, but Michael rated at perhaps a 1.
Tommy and Emma danced the Mambo with a throwback to vintage hippy culture by way of an ethnic tunic shirt for Tommy, and then a non-glass beaded costume for Emma. They coordinated well. Tommy’s tunic shirt is another example of a ‘findable’ guy’s costume, to work with an exquisite lady’s costume. The draped beads created a truly unique and pleasing visual for Emma. It wasn’t the same old Latin ballroom costume. I originally scored this couple at a 7, but the more I think about it, I would give an 8 to Emma.
Sadie wore a beautiful costume this week; the best she’s worn over the course of the competition, in my opinion. Her modest silver beaded Charleston costume was stunning, with the long fringe applied in diagonal lines, rather than the traditional horizontal. Generally, fringe that is that long, camouflages the silhouette of the body, and it would have, had it been sewn horizontally. But the diagonals created a beautiful look, complete with uneven hemline to make her costume more appealing to the eye. The base costume was short, to show off Sadie’s long legs, yet modest and age appropriate. It looked great on a teenager, but this style would look great for anyone who simply wished to wear a non-skimpy costume. It was fresh, sassy and sophisticated! I awarded her a 9 for her costume. Derek? Well, he received a 7 -just for being Derek…his costume was very ‘ho-hum’.
Lea and Val finished out the competition, dancing a Broadway-style routine, complete with Broadway-esque style costuming, with Val setting aside his ‘bad boy’ image for that of an older gentleman to coordinate with Lea’s nurse costume. I loved the movement in her skirt and the traditional details (albeit with lots of rhinestoned trim) of her modestly cut bodice, with sleeves and nurse’s cap. They scored a pleasing 8 from me.
The ‘switch up’ this week showcased real dance talent with some, and revealed a lack of talent with others. I am looking forward to getting ‘back to normal’ next week, where the youngest competitors won’t have to worry about Val!