Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
Dances: Argentine Tango & Jive
After last week’s minirebellion during the Quickstep, Shawn and Mark had to be extra careful not to break any rules. They got a near-perfect score, but the judges did have to dock points since the couple came out of their hold.
"This week, we can’t afford to lose any points, so we’re going to stick to the rules," said Shawn. "There’s no room for error. I have to nail two dances. If I don’t, I’ll be the next one going home."
Fortunately, for them, they had a dance that was packed with personality, but it was not without its obstacles. "The Jive is challenging: it’s so fast, it’s so technical and there’s too many steps, but not enough time," she said.
Shawn and Mark seemed to be getting themselves pumped up for the performance because they were bouncing around before the music even started. But maybe they should have saved that energy for the dance since it was a little heavy and it started falling apart near the end.
Bruno thought that Shawn and Mark really sold the dance, but Len started his critique with a compliment for the house band. When your job is to comment on the dance routines and you start off with a shout-out to the band, that’s bad.
Still, Len said that Shawn and Mark didn’t do too bad. "For me, though, there was too much messing about dancing," he said. "I would have liked to see a little more traditional Jive."
"I felt like you lost a little steam," said Carrie Ann. "It kind of got a little heavier towards the end, but it was still a really wonderful performance."
Shawn and Mark did waaay better with their Argentine Tango that was complete with sound effects. The young competitor also put her gymnastic skills to good use. Usually, you won’t see a leap in this typically brooding ballroom dance, but Shawn made it work.
And we were really impressed with Mark’s physical ability. He seems like a tiny guy, but he managed to perform some outstanding lifts and spins. Overall, this is probably one of our favorite performances from the two.
The judges were blown away by Shawn and Mark’s Argentine Tango. They loved everything from the attitude the pair brought to sharpness in the steps.
"The lifts were incredible. You’re so connected to your movement," said Carrie Ann. "’Precision’ is your middle name, sister."
"What we have here is Catherine Zeta-Shawn. Watching you it was like watching the murderous tango. That was good," Bruno exclaimed.
When their scores for the Argentine Tango and the Jive were combined, the gymnast and her coach racked up a score of 56 out 60.