Team Niecy put down its pom-poms and took off the bedazzled t-shirts last night: she had a great run this season, surviving the bottom two twice, and she never stopped repping for curvy girls or for funny girls. Don't get me wrong, it was always a tentative affection that the show had for her, you could feel the worry and doubts from the hosts and judges about what do with so much woman on their ballroom floor, but each week, she defied their low expectations. No, she isn't as flexible and light as some of the other competitors, but check out Niecy's Argentine Tango from a couple weeks ago -- she and Louis go for the lifts and the stretches and shows the world they don't have to be so afraid of her body.
After Louis Van Amstel danced with Kelly Osbourne last season (and introduced his boyfriend sitting in the audience during a promo interview on Chelsea Lately), he's become one of my favorite professionals on the show, but with him gone, I can turn all love and affection to Derek Hough, the king of the paso doble. He also caught my eye last season with his groundbreaking dance from the future with Joanna Krupa and this week he and Nicole Scherzinger had to come up with a paso doble from...the 50s? But they pulled it off, scoring straight 10s from the judges and being asked to perform it a second time for the results show on Tuesday.
Derek took us back to the original tough greasers of the 1950s -- before Grease became a popular high school musical and rockabilly became niche fashion -- and he made combined the sexy of both the dance and the era. Watching them, it's hard to tell which is the professional and which is the celebrity and I can't lie, I get chills during parts of the choreography. Godspeed, Derek and Nicole, on your way to the finals.
-- A. Raymond Johnson
Previously > Dancing With The Stars: Butch Up, Sally