“She’s completely the opposite of me … She’s evil, and I’m not,” said “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama as she started training for a jazz routine inspired by Nurse Ratched on “Dancing with the Stars” for “Villains Night.” I was worried she would be a little too reserved to truly channel the sociopathic health care worker from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Netflix’s “Ratched,” but she truly showed a different side of herself and channeled the character for an unexpectedly sexy number. However, a couple of the judges seemed to think her Ratched was kind of wretched. I strongly disagreed, but what did you think? Watch it above, and see what the judges had to say about it below.
Derek Hough: “The musicality, I loved the transitions into the lifts. It was great. I really felt that seductive energy at the beginning, and I think tonight more than ever it’s really about the character. For me, I felt like when it got into that side-by-side moment I lost the character a little bit in the middle, but overall I thought it was a really strong performance. Well done.”
Bruno Tonioli: “I know it’s going to sound bad. I didn’t get a fever. I got more of a mild chill, and I’ll explain why. Great leg extensions, lifts. I loved the nod to Sharon Stone in ‘Basic Instinct’ at the end. The thing with jazz, it has to always come from the body. It’s not just in your eyes. Think Fosse: every move came through every part of your body, and you have to express that … That’s really the slight difference.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “I agree with Bruno … What was lacking was the intention behind the movement. Cheerleading is all about the shapes, and the shapes were really nice … but what we’re looking for is like, when you’re doing the hips, why are you doing the hips? When you’re pushing him back, why? Tonight especially it’s about storytelling … Next week it’ll be about a different thing, so tonight it wasn’t your best dance, but you are still improving, and this is a process, so good job.”
Not that good of a job, apparently. Inaba and Tonioli gave Aldama surprisingly low 7s for her performance, while Hough gave her an 8 for a total of 22 out of 30. That left her at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, and when viewer votes were factored in at the end of the night she was in the bottom two with Jeannie Mai, so at that point it wasn’t surprising that the judges voted to save Mai and eliminate Aldama, though it wasn’t a unanimous verdict: Hough actually voted to save Aldama. Do you think she deserved better than she got from the judges and the viewing audience?
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