Televised Talent: What I did on my spring vacation

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

I’m back from vacation. Did you miss me? Did you miss my sometimes acerbic take on our favorite shows?

Was I watching them? Of course I was! I just decided to wait a few days to offer my take on what you saw. Because if you were watching as well, there was a lot to watch.

 

DEREK, THE BREAK-OUT STAR OF DANCING WITH THE STARS

Last week was switch-it-up week. Yawn. That just meant we got to see some dancers dance with other partners. Cheryl finally got a dancer worthy of her greatness in James, and Candace was equally weak with Tony as she is with Mark. This week they’ll be back with the same partners they had before.

But the show really should have been dubbed the Derek Hough Show. Because while his sister was the overly charitable guest judge, it was Derek whose influence was seen at every turn.

We saw it when Mark turned to him for advice on how to coach Amy Purdy, Derek’s normal star, who dances with two prosthetic legs. We saw it when he finally brought out the strengths in NeNe Leakes, coaching her into a jazz routine.

And we especially saw it in the Macy’s Stars of Dance, when he and the other dancers did a memorable flamenco/paso doble, which also could be dubbed Some Girl Dances with Three Hot Shirtless Guys.

 

 

THE VOICE STARTS TO GET INTERESTING

Finally, The Voice starts to slowly move toward live shows and fewer sudden, harsh eliminations.

The show has finally entered The Playoffs, when each coach’s five artists performs for a chance to get into the live shows. Three of those will go on to the live shows.

So far, we’ve seen Team Blake select Sisaundra Lewis, Audra McLaughlin and Jake Worthington. 

Sisaundra is the only non-country artist on Team Blake, but stands head and shoulders above both of them. She’s a surprising choice for Blake, but makes me want to root for him again. 

The playoffs finish up this week, and the live shows start just after Easter.

 

 

AMERICAN IDOL LOSES ITS SAFETY NET

 

Malaya Watson was sent packing, proving that The Save is almost always wasted. Had the judges not saved Sam last week, they surely would have saved Malaya.

I won’t miss the young singer, who was nothing if not inconsistent, and I could not comprehend the praise the judges gave her after her pitchy, screaming performance of “Through the Fire.”

Meanwhile, Sam mastered the art of connecting — but with the cameras, not the girls around him. Jessica sang another song that was technically correct and once again showed no signs of knowing what the song was about. And I would have gladly eliminated at least half of the singers right on the spot.

Of course, a second week of the Top 8 meant a second week of duets with new partners. This one stood out, maybe because I saw finale potential in these two. Watch Jena not Jenna and Caleb, aka Meatloaf and Jack Black’s Love Child, along with me:

 

 

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or 

dsmith@recordpub.com
Facebook: Diane Smith, Record-Courier
Twitter: @DianeSmith_RC

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