Dancing with the Stars Recap: The Semi-Finals Finally Kick It Up a Notch

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All the celebs have their game face on, but one of 'em has got to go. And while I think that one is the same one I've been thinking deserves to go for quite a few weeks, I don't think she will.

Last night each couple got to choose which Ballroom and which Latin dance they wanted to have another go at. And giving the stars the choice seemed to bring out the best in them...

1. Marie & Jonathan

Their Ballroom dance was the Quick Step. This was very very cute. Danced t the tune "Good Mornin'" from Singing in the Rain, it emphasized Marie's "spunk" and very out-there performance energy. While all the judges complimented them for adding more content, I honestly didn't think it looked that much more complex than what they'd done before. There was lot of posing to go with a smidge more actual Quick Stepping. Again, nicely done, but I wouldn't say it was at the level of the others.

Their Latin dance was the Mambo, and I have to say I didn't like it. at. all. It seemed to cross that fine line Marie always comes close to...right into dreadfully campy. It also looked very messy to me, and even I saw messed up footwork.

2. Mel & Makisim

Their Ballroom dance was the Viennese Waltz. First I must say "wow." That traveling splits move was really really impressive. The whole thing was fast, constant, but also smooth and flowing. And they were very very synchronized. I thought it was pretty damn professional looking (which my S.O. kept pointing out might have to do with the fact that Mel actually is a professional.)

Their Latin dance was the Paso Doble. I was left a little puzzled by this one. It seemed to me that there were some messy parts in the beginning and end. I totally concede that they were doing extremely tough stuff...way higher than the level anyone else is doing, but it didn't quit hit the same note as their first Paso for me.

3. Jennie & Derek

Their Ballroom dance was the Tango. I really didn't like the choreography and overall approach. Dressing them in military-style outfits and focusing on extremely sharp, nearly robotic moves took away all the glamour and grace of the tango for me. It was very fast and complex, and mostly precise, but I did have that runaway train feeling, like any minute this dance was going to go completely off the rails.

Their Latin dance was the Cha Cha, and wow, Jennie finally just nailed it in every single way. I have liked her from the beginning, but she does get that furrowed brow of concentration in almost every dance she does. This time she was really loose and hot, and the choreography was fantastic. A really enjoyable routine, my favorite of the night.

4. Helio & Julianne

Their Ballroom dance was the Foxtrot. I'm just going ot be a heretic and say it: I think Helio gets a great,big pass from the judges because he's a guy, without any performing background. They praise him and score him way higher than he deserves. I'm not saying he doesn't make a tremendous effort and hit some very difficult steps, but doesn't anyone else find his overall style of movement slightly awkward and distinctly not natural, flowing and graceful? I like the guy, and I think Julianne has worked wonders with him, but I just don't find him to be all that. This Foxtrot seemed to have messy footwork, and they didn't seemed as synched as they usually are. I think Julianne's adrenaline got to her, and she was over-performing compared to Helio, instead of matching him. No way i saw this as a perfect performance.

Their Latin dance was the Cha Cha. This had some really great moments, but again, I felt some moments were awkward. And he wasn't great at spinning her...even she looked a little awkward in those moments. Again, not getting the perfect score.

Bottom line:

It seems clear to me that Helio will go through. Some woman is going home. If it were me, it would be Marie. Valiant effort and all, but not quite as fantastic as the others. I fear, however, that Marie has a fan base that Jennie can't match, so it will probably be bad-girl-Kellie-Taylor going home tonight.

But what did you think?

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