The US won the team match. Again.
The interesting thing is that the US lost (to Europe) all five Latin dances, but more than made up for that in the Standard dances. The teams this year represented the US, Britain, Europe, and Asia.
The US team was: Riccardo and Yulia; Eugene and Maria; Arunas and Katusha; and Victor and Anastasia.
Europe's team: Michael and Joanna; Franco and Oxana; Mirko and Edita; and Domen and Monica.
In the Latin under-21, the Chinese presence was so strong, I counted about 1 in 5 couples were Chinese. But they did not make the final.
Eugene and Maria's retirement wasn't really a surprise. The MC read a very moving letter from them, in which they thanked their fans especially. Both were in tears by the end.
Am waiting for the other amateur events to see the level of participation from Russia, Italy and Germany. The numbers are low. I don't want to get into the politics of this mess, but what a shame.
The cutest thing in the Latin under-21 was that two girls (from China) danced in the same, identical dress. I think perhaps they belong to the same team which supplied their costumes, and they ended up on the floor (in the same heat, no less), in identical and very distinctive green dresses. At first one thought (to quote Maks Chmerkovsky, sitting close by) that one was seeing double, until one realized they were two different girls, with similar physique and looks.
And one couple missed their recall for the second round. The MC (Marcus Hilton) kept calling their number, jokingly asking what "55" (their number) was in Chinese, and taking his cue from the audience for pronunciation. Until he realized they were Korean! They finally showed up, having missed the ChaCha entirely.
I'm still wondering how they missed their recall with their number being re-announced before each heat (an extra nice gesture from the MC, considering that some couples presumably spoke very little English).
And the MC, in reminding everyone that video-taping was not allowed, pointed to a guy on the balcony who was so busy with his camera he didn't notice he was being addressed. Then the MC asked for a spotlight to be directed at him, at which point they guy finally looked up, noticed that everyone was staring at him, and acknowledged the audience with a puzzled bow.
On second thoughts, Hilton asked the guy if he worked for Himawari (the company officially taping the event). The guy answered "Yes." Hilton had the grace to acknowledge his gaffe.
All in all, I like Hilton as an MC. He is a lot more approachable. I remember that I didn't like his chatter the first year he took over, but I feel he has given a kinder, gentler (and funnier) face to Blackpool.
Off to bed now.
Thanks, DancingJools, for a particularly interesting happening.
I also read the following in Georffrey Fells Blog:
"The night before (Thursday) there was a charity show featuring world class dancers in the World Competitors Dancesport Corporation Cabaret Showdance. The big story of the night, apart from the great dancing was a walk out by several of the WDC officials on a break before Mirko Gozzoli & Edita Danuite took the floor. Apparently Mirko wrote a letter in support of the Italian IDSF affiliate’s boycott of the Blackpool Festival. Mirko & Edita competed in the professional Team Match (tonight) and are entered in the Professional Standard (Friday) and we shall see if they dance. Their lecture at the BDF Congress was also canceled".
Super excited that Pasha & Daniella placed 6th in RS! What a great result for them!
Congrats also to Andrei & Kate, who made the semi, and to all the US couples in this event -- we had 7 in the top 49!
I'm kind of surprised with Pro Rising Star Results...although I didn't really know which couples would be dancing this category this year...or any year for that matter...I'm just always curious to see where the top couples in Pro Rising Star end up in Pro Latin (especially a year later...)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Smagin...just a bit shocked that they turned pro a month ago and won rising star. They must have danced really well. Wonder how they will do in Pro Latin (I'm assuming they are dancing it?)
Champions and Notable Pro Standard dancers who must dance rom Round 1 in Blackpool because they have new partners:
Mirko Gozzoli (dancing with new partner Edita Daniute) (not sure if they will dance); Giampiero Giannico dancing with new partner Anna Mikhed (.); Victor Fung (dancing with new partner Anastasia Muravyeva); Mikhail Andeev (dancing with new partner Olga Blinova); Ikaika Dowsett (dancing with new partner Olya Zhuk).