The semi-finals wrap up on this week’s Superstars of Dance. It’s the last chance for these dancers to make it to the top three in each category and move on to the finals. But one country isn’t lucky enough to qualify in any of them.
These spoilers aren’t manly enough to dance with you…
Our host Michael Flatley and Susie Castillo are once again on hand and run down the current standings on the leader boards before introducing the judges from Argentina, India, Australia, South Africa, the United States, Ireland, Russia and China (which is the order that the individual scores are listed, minus the judge for the corresponding country who doesn’t get a vote).
Group – Team India
The youth of of this team was used a bit against them the first time out but the team hopes this dance, in honor of Ganesh (god of success and remover of obstacles), will move them to the next round. They start out with good energy and crisp moves. The camera work is improved but still not great so some of the movements lose some impact. It was a very enjoyable number, I dug it.
The Judges: 53 (8-7-7-8-7-8-8)
Team India’s group did not score high enough to unseat South Africa’s group and make the top three.
Duos – Giselle Peacock & Henry Byalikov, Team Australia
The Latin ballroom specialists are dancing to African-flavored music. Henry is shirtless and I’m not mad at that, Giselle’s dress is fringe-tastic. The number had a lot of energy and spice to it. I liked it and thought it was much more memorable than their first time around.
Judges: 59 (8-9-8-8-8-9-9)
It was between Peacock/Byalikov and the Irish duo but they scored a 56 and are eliminated. Can’t say I’m upset about that.
Solo – Bernadette Flynn, Ireland
She won her first world championship title at the age of 10. Maybe that’s why she’s a better performer than her husband. She’s very light and floats about the stage with a lot of grace. Clearly she’s very skilled. It was very pretty but I just can’t say I was excited by the performance.
Judges: 54 (8-7-7-8-7-9-8)
She needed at least a 59 to tie Amrapali, the Team India soloist sitting on the bubble. That’s two eliminations in a row for Bernadette, who takes it very well when interviewed stating she just hopes she did Ireland proud.
Solo – Mamela Nyamza, South Africa
After a super-avant garde first round, I doubt it’ll get anymore mainstream this time around. While it wasn’t mainstream, She’s in a white tutu and barefoot and presents her take on "Swan Lake." Regardless of whether or not you understand her, she does have great technique. The classical music she dances to is accompanied by several drummers, a lovely juxtaposition of the two disciplines like her dancing in this number. I rather liked it.
Judges: 55 (7-8-8-8-8-8-8)
Amrapali escapes again, though I thought they would’ve scored Mamela higher. She thinks the same and tells us so when Flatley asks her what she thinks. She’s disappointed but knows she’s left a mark and will be remembered. Mamela also echoes the sentiments of everyone watching at home: she doesn’t know what the judges are looking for from the dancers.
Group – Team China
The monks are back, complete with their coach who is from North London – the only non-Chinese monk at the temple. Towards the beginning, a couple of the guys do the caterpillar, something they might’ve picked up from the Grovaloos. The directions was 500 times better than the first time around. They go into a weapons demo about halfway through and segue into two blindfolded monks sparring – one with a spear and one without. Good gravy. Then one of the kids does backflips using his head before literally putting his foot in his mouth. They end with four monks breaking metal bars over their heads. For reals. Find the clip online and watch it twice.
Judges: 65 (10-9-9-10-8-9-10)
South Africa was the team on the bubble, which is disappointing because I really liked them…but, I mean…they were up against Shaolin Monks. Sparring blindfolded. C’mon.
Duo – Georgia Amabarian & Eric Luna, USA
The first time around, Georgia and Eric got scored a bit low in their eyes (three sevens) based on their trick-heavy routine. Dancing to "Apologize" by One Republic/Timbaland, they are still all over the drama. Their lifts are still sick. I mean, the strength required on both sides is unfathomable. They did a better job linking the tricks this time around and it seemed more organic. Not dancing to Whitney Houston’s "I Have Nothing" will do that. They are very trick-heavy for sure, but that’s how the Cabaret discipline is.
Judges: 50 (8-7-7-5-8-8-7) – The audience booed the South African judge so hard, it spilled into the Irish judge’s time.
They certainly were not happy with the score (or the South African judge’s critique) but Georgia said it doesn’t change who they are as a couple or diminish their accomplishments. I commend her restraint because I just know she wanted to go off.
Solo – Mythili Prakash, India
In her interview she says that the judges are looking at many different dances and should open their minds, learn about the disciplines, and score accordingly. Hear hear. She’s dancing as a male god, Shiva, this time around. Her facial expressions are great, as usual. She has great control and does a great mix of types of movements – slow, fast, hard, soft.
Score: 54 (8-7-7-8-8-8-8) – Boo indeed.
Mythili’s score doesn’t best her good friend Amrapali’s and is eliminated. I think she got hosed. But pretty much all of India’s dancers have been scored on the low side.
Solo – Carolina Cerisola, Argentina
Carolina has decided to bring a little more speed an energy to this round’s performance. She certainly kicked it up a notch. Lots of shimmying, this time in a shiny fringed bra and little skirt. She definitely can shake it and is all kinds of hot. But it was a lot of shaking and not a lot of dance content.
Judges: 53 (7-6-4-8-10-10-8) – Wow…the South African judge is no joke.
Despite being uber-hot and working the Irish and Russian judges into a lather, it’s not enough to knock Amrapali out of the competition. She’s whether the storm and joins the popper from USA and the ballerina from Russia in the soloist finals.
Now we get a special treat, it’s Team China and Team USA dancing together. The Grovaloos don’t want to call it a battle because they feel it’s disrespectful – it’s an honor for them to dance with the Shaolin Monks. Instead of just seeing the whole session, we get a montage. I’d prefer they’d just let the whole thing roll or show longer pieces of the solos. It’s interesting and impressive, but the package presentation robbed us of a lot of the inherent excitement. Yet another horrible call by the powers that be.
Duo – Pasha & Aliona Riazantzy, Russia
They combine dance and magic and recognize they’re taking a chance. But as long as they entertain the audience, they’ll be happy. They do outfit quick-changes in between their dance steps. Technique-wise they are very well trained and mix quite a few Latin disciplines in their routine, however they aren’t as strong as the other Latin couples. The changes are impressive but I don’t know if I’d push them to the next round based on the novelty. At least they entertained the audience like they wanted.
Judges: 51 (7-8-6-3-8-10-9)
Group – Team Ireland
This is the last group Ireland has in competition. If you’ve ever seen Michael Flatley dance, then you’ve seen this number. It’s basically the finale with the red shirts and whatnot. Replacement Flatley had a little more oomph to him but, again, I can’t seem to muster up a lot of excitement for them as I’ve seen it before and seen it with a better front man.
Judges: 62 (9-8-8-9-10-9)
They’ve tied the Australia group so they now have to do a tiebreaker, minus the Australian and Irish judges. Australia almost runs the table with the Chinese judge throwing his vote to Ireland.
Wow…how harsh were some of those judges tonight? Do you agree with the top threes in each category? Were you as disappointed as I was by the treatment of the Team China/Team USA dance circle?