As a figure skating fan in the modern era, I am of course quite familiar with the concept of routines to two difference dance rhythms, though usually couples don’t try to do them to the same song(though Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon did two combo ODs to weirdly remixed versions of songs that couple provide for two different rhythms). Also, usually the combined rhythms are from the same group(i.e. polka this year combined with another ballroom rhythm). It seems as if whoever chose the rhythms before last week’s result show just wasn’t that prudent, and as a result, we really only got two combinations that really belonged together, putting the samba with the rumba and especially the tango with the paso doble; it’s no coincidence the latter was the routine that got the 30, though of course it didn’t hurt that the choreography had both Derek and Mark to contribute to it! I really liked Emmitt and Cherl’s Latin combo as well, and you’ve got the respect that one for being the only one that never used to a wardrobe change to mark a transition, but just sensibly followed the countours of the music and used the challenge to better express them:
But the real story of the night was the swing marathon, if only for the results. In all the previous marathons, if the results didn’t exactly tally to the order of general ranking of the couples in the judge’s eyes, the marathon was usually still won by one of the biggest favorites and the lower ranked couples tended to go earlier and higher ranked couples later. But here, we had Gilles & Peta out shockingly early, Shawn not making the top two either, and Kelly and Val doing so instead, and though perhaps Melissa and Tony winning isn’t quite as unbelievable as those three things, the normal pattern wouldn’t have made the the co-favorite or indeed top chllanger. Though then again, may that’s just yet another indication that the final is simply going to be a repeat of the season 8 finale; those three competitors are really starting to look like the favorites at this point.