She gave it a 10 (and broke her paddle in the process), Len Goodman gave it an 8, and Bruno Tonioli gave it a 9. All three judges gave 9s to the Jive done the same night by Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. During her critique, Carrie Ann told Brant she thought the routine was a hair too challenging for him.
In her Parade blog, Carrie Ann explained why she scored Jack and Cheryl’s Jive slightly higher, and what Brant and Peta could learn from the other couple.
“I thought that they demonstrated something that is really interesting about keeping balance between challenging oneself and giving a performance suited to you,” Carrie Ann wrote. “Both were very, very good. Brant’s was filled with incredible content and challenging steps — so much so that at times his lines were a bit awkward. It caused his technique to go off as well. His weight was in his heels a lot of the time and because it was so challenging he wasn’t dancing so much as he was hanging on for dear life. It looked as if he were hanging on to the coattails of the dance and barely keeping up. And that made it a bit uncomfortable to watch. I appreciate his gung-ho attitude, but there is a point when you need to find the perfect balance between showing off what you do well and pushing your own boundaries."
That balance, she wrote, is what Jack and Cheryl did beautifully.
"Their jive had magic. It had a special quality that made the whole performance greater than the sum of its parts. I think that was the perfect jive for Jack. He executed every move with perfection, ease of motion, and incredible showmanship. It was right in his zone. He challenged himself and he definitely pushed himself. That run up the stairs at the end was no easy feat, and the combinations were challenging, but not frantic.”
Point to ponder: Why did Cheryl make Jack run up the stairs? It seemed like unnecessary torture.
Anyway, Carrie Ann loved all of it. “[Jack] was able to showcase that he had grown and learned a lot, but he was also able to showcase what he does best,” she continued. “He finessed the moves beautifully, he wasn’t overly animated, but matched the song, which had a laidback positive energy to it, which he embodied. He was extremely light on his feet and had proper weight placement and something magical happened. So much so, I broke my paddle I got so excited. I hope that Peta and Brant will watch that line — for it’s a fine line indeed of balancing the difficulty with the performance."
Do you agree that Cheryl and Jack had a magical Jive that perfectly walked the line, and Brant and Peta need to work on that difficulty/performance balance? Sound off below.
Dancing With the Stars airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.