From now on you get to say “We made Finals in Classic at SwingDiego.” If you make finals, that is. Which is what the Qualifier is – a Prelim for the routine divisions, SwingDiego’s newest innovation to manage the large numbers of entries in Classic and Showcase at this event. Bragging rights, and looks better on a resume than “we placed 12th.” If last year you placed top five you’re not required to do the Qualifier (although you can, if you want the opportunity to put the routine on the floor in front of cameras and a live audience.) The top 16 couples continue on to dance in Finals tonight.
Also new this year: Earl and Parker’s elegant Saturday night Cocktail Party now occupies not one but *two* suites and balconies overlooking the pools and palm trees. Not to be missed – an elegant pre-party Southern California style.
Oh by the way – Thursday night didn’t just feel huge it actually was huge – 1,058 dancers on Thursday – that’s got to be a record for a Thursday-night Kickoff dance. Which was still rocking at 9am the next morning.
85 couples in Open Strictly Prelims yesterday afternoon. Three heats. Judges: Michael Norris, Deborah Szekely, Jessica, Melina, Kellese, Sharlot, and Chief Judge for the weekend: Sharlot’s Fiance.
Heat 1: “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Someone Like You,” and “Me You and The Music.”
Heat 2: “All Around The World (Lou Rawls version)” “More Than Words,” and “Dance Again”
Heat 3: “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” “Stitch by Stitch” and ‘Dip Out of the Club”
Semi-Finals 40 couples in two heats.
Heat 1: “Move Across The River,” and “Man In The Mirror”
Heat 2: “Spankin’ Leroy” and “Mr. Know-It-All”
1. Clint and Kara, “Moves Like Jagger” (great song to start off with – audience roared at that first whistle) WOW Kara! Girlfriend is throwing it all on the floor! What a great dance!
2. April Sakaluk and Edson Modesta (Brasil!), “I’m A Single Man”
3. Diego and Jessica (Brasil and Brasil!) “California Gurls”
4. JB and Sabrina “Give Me Everything”
5. Jesse and Maddy “DJ Got Us Falling In Love”
6. Reggie and Marina “Please Don’t Go”
7. Kris and Emmeline oops
8. Stefan and Anyssa “OMG”
9. Kevin and Shanti “Blow”
10. Ryan and Taylor “Strobe Lights”
11. Katia and Grigoriy “Dynamite” (Michael: “Is there a tongue doctor in the house? I need one” – WOW did he bungle their names. Michael gets the prize for the funniest mangling of names. I’d like a video of clips of Michael mispronouncing one name after another over the years. Priceless)
And the All-Skate to Sweet Home Chicago.