Best performances of the night for me were James/Sharna and Laurie/Val. Both had the content and I just smiled through the both routines. I know I like it if I go back and watch a few times. Sharna and Val do such a good job of having the troupe there but keeping the focus on their partnership so they aren't overpowered by the troupe. The troupe enhanced their routines (made it feel bigger/larger) but my eyes were always on James and Laurie. They told a story, had excellent content, and acted it as well. I loved both. I generally love Val's quicksteps and this was right up there. Sharna killed her first jitterbug IMO.
I'm 100% ok with Maureen leaving. The most stessful/exhausting part of her dances was the package that played beforehand. By the time we got through that drama I was already dragged down (enegry-wise) before she even performed. I would watch her dances with the anxiety and stress that we all knew was there. It stopped being fun to watch. However, Artem, Keo and Dennis had me cackling in their outfits. They looked gloriously ridiculous. I felt like the spirit of Mark Ballas was on the dance floor.
Calvin did great. He's not as natural a performer as James and Laurie but he's finally get recognized for his good dancing.
Terra's dance was nice/lovely. But I'm not buying the personality transplant DWTS producers are trying to feed us though. But they know that the demo of DWTS isn't really watching her reality show and will never know.... so they can get away with it.
Jana did good. IMO there was no way she was going to top last week's dance, however, Gleb did them no favors with his exchange with Len. Len dressing him down after the dance was one thing. I think he should have let it rest. The additional comments with Erin probably wasn't endearing him to the general audience. And now I read in an article that backstage he said that Len should spend more time here (in the US) as opposed to Strictly Come Dancing in the UK. Now talking back to the judges can work for you, sometimes if they are truly being ridiculous, however he's veering off to the point of me wondering if he is going to piss someone off and not be asked back. Gleb hasn't been on the show long enough for him to be able to get away with doing that.
Marilu - I'm not into this partnership. Something is missing. The dance was fine though. Even with the mistakes I would still give it 8's. She had good content and executed for the most part. On the performance side some of her facial expressions are a little wonky. It seemed like the performance lost steam as it went along too.
Ryan - can't do sexy. Though he is a very handsome man. He see's himself as a goofy big kid (which I agree with). But I give Cheryl a standing ovation for all the hair whipping and sex appeal she tried to infuse in the dance though. Ryan is minimal drama, he works hard, listens to Cheryl. People like that and I think that is why he's still here. I'm not going to lie though...I'm happy they are still here too. Not because of Ryan, but because I just love that one of our veteran pros is still hanging in there. I want to go as far as possible because we probably won't see her on the show for a long time....if ever after this season.
Team Dances -
Team Past - very beautiful.
Team Future - that music sucked. As did the camera angles. I don't think I would have ever liked what they did...just based on the music alone.