Dancing with the Stars Recap: Who’s the couple to beat?

Randell is here to rock.

THREE

Randell is here to rock.

Welcome back to week six of Dancing With the Stars.

We enter this week without the biggest star of all, Mike McRoberts, after his shock elimination last weekend.

What lessons can we learn from Mike’s departure? The first is that fame and nice muscles will only get you so far on this show. The second is that dancing second-last on a Monday night is an absolutely cursed draw.

An Argentine tango to Muse sets the tone.

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An Argentine tango to Muse sets the tone.

Second-last on a Monday night is also where Carolyn was drawn the week she got eliminated, anyway. We’ll keep an eye on this and other Dancing With the Stars numerology patterns as the season progresses.

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* Dancing with the Stars recap: A blast from the past
* Dancing with the Stars recap: Return of the dance-off elimination

There are now eight pairs of dancers left in the competition. Let’s see what the first six have in store for us this week.

RANDELL & BRITTANY COLEMAN

It’s rock week this week which means Randell is wearing a heavy eyeliner. Obviously it looks good on him. He and Brittany are dancing to Enter Sandman by Metallica, which I’ve got to say sounds extremely cool with an added layer of out-of-time audience clapping high in the mix.

Their paso doble rocks hard. Randell does an absolutely wild knee-slide towards the end which looks kind of like a John Cleese funny walk, but the judges are all obsessed with it. The knee stuff earns a “nine baby” from Julz, and the Randell train rolls on.

Total score: 25

Nadia's wearing leather pants, there's lots of bending over, sexy stretching, a move Julz refers to as

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Nadia’s wearing leather pants, there’s lots of bending over, sexy stretching, a move Julz refers to as “slappin’ the bum”… it’s all good stuff.

MANU VATUVEI & LORYN REYNOLDS

I thought Manu was a bit lucky to evade the bottom two last week after his below-average cha cha.

The worst thing a good dancer can do on this show, apart from dropping their partner on her head, is to be worse than the week before.

Manu needs a big dance this week and dances don’t get much bigger than an Argentine tango to Muse. There’s a trust fall in there along with more of the feats of body strength we’ve come to expect from Manu and Loryn.

A rumba to Linkin Park sends William back to the top.

THREE

A rumba to Linkin Park sends William back to the top.

He’s also improving his finesse moves as the competition progresses, and could be a genuine contender for the Glitterball Trophy.

Total score: 24

NADIA LIM & AARON GILMORE

I’m starting to think Nadia could be another genuine contender this season. She has the classic She’s All That story arc that Samantha Hayes had last year – the awkward nerd who magically becomes hot just by taking off her glasses / getting more confident at dancing.

Manu Vatuvei drops his partner Loryn Reynolds during rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars.

This week’s salsa to Joan Jett is Nadia and Aaron’s hottest and best dance yet. Nadia’s wearing leather pants, there’s lots of bending over, sexy stretching, a move Julz refers to as “slappin’ the bum”… it’s all good stuff. Then again, the last person to wear leather pants on this show was Jude Dobson and we voted her off the very next week, so we’ll see.

Total score: 22

WILLIAM WAIIRUA & AMELIA MCGREGOR

I’m still trying to get my head around William’s inclusion in the bottom two last week. The only reason I can think of is that voters really hate it when a man does stuff to his hair. Remember how we voted off Colin Mathura-Jeffree after he got cornrows?

If anything’s going to save William and Amelia from the bottom two this week it’s a rumba to Linkin Park. The classic loud-quiet-loud dynamics of ‘Numb’ mean they can switch from pretty dancing to moshing and back again, and Camilla’s so transfixed by it all she forgets to write down a single note. Collectively the judges send William and Amelia back to the top of the leaderboard.

Total score: 26

K’LEE & SCOTT COLE

What more does K’Lee have left up her sleeve after nearly breaking her neck then laying down her own vocal track in the previous two weeks? How about a paso doble incorporating a big metal fence and she kicks the fence over at the end? Look, I’ll take it.

Dancing-wise it’s better than last week, but “just a tad,” says Rachel. “Oh for god’s sake,” sighs Julz petulantly. K’Lee doesn’t like Rachel’s critique either, going off at her about how they’ve been working really hard. I personally love it when this happens, always enjoy seeing sportspeople argue with the ref and all that, but I’m not confident this approach will play with the voters at home.

Total score: 20

LAURA DANIEL & SHAE MOUNTAIN

Laura’s sitting on the highest score of the season after her 27 last week, but I reckon she can go even higher before the season is over. She’s talked before about being a DWTS superfan and like some of the superfans who enter Survivor she’s playing the game perfectly.

This week Laura and Shae are dancing a Viennese waltz to Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. An inspired track selection with elegant choreography, this is the kind of dance they were reaching for but didn’t quite nail with their A Star is Born routine early in the competition. Now they’re nailing it, and they’re probably the couple to beat.

Total score: 26

LEADERBOARD:

1= William Waiirua & Amelia McGregor (26)

Laura Daniel & Shae Mountain (26)

3 Randell & Brittany Coleman (25)

4 Manu Vatuvei & Loryn Reynolds (24)

5 Nadia Lim & Aaron Gilmore (22)

6 K’Lee & Scott Cole (20)

DANCING TOMORROW:

Glen Osborne & Vanessa Cole

Walter Neilands & Melissa McCallum

Dancing with the Stars NZ returns to THREE on Monday at 7.30pm.

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