The best event of this final night of competition was the last to hit the floor, the Professional Ballroom. This proved to be a real nail-biter – at least from the judges’ perspective. Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley won all 5 dances, but only in the quickstep did they have a slim majority of first places. In the other 4 dances, they had to rely on “2nd or better” scores for their victory. Taking second in all dances were Luca & Krizia Balestra who matched the winners for first places in waltz and had one more first (7 total) in both tango and foxtrot. Their downfall was that fewer judges placed them second than the winners, allowing Nazar & Mariko to get ahead. We must point out that we were surprised to see some 4th place marks in Luca & Krizia’s score column. Both couples were in great form and handled the small floor well.
The third place couple, Artem Belmeha & Anna Shevchenko were 3rd in all dances and were the other couple taking a significant amount of 2nd placements. 4th in all dances went to Jonathan Test & Tatiana Mechsheryakova and 5th to Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva.
The Pro Rhythm was for the most part a re-run of the RS Rhythm with the exception of the winners, Dymytrii Goncharov & Veronika Shapar who won all dances with a majority of first places. 2nd in all dances went to Stanislav Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova and third in all were Roberto Fernandez & Laura Panameno. 4th Blake Formanek & Veronika Suyupova 4,4,4,4,4; 5th Irving Villavicencio & Amanda Valdivia; 6th Juan Solano & Danielle Marie 6,6,6,6,6.
One of the most interesting pair of results came in the U/21 Latin Championship and U/21 – 2 events. The same 2 couples entered both events and the judging panel was also the same. However, the result was reversed from one event to the other. Maksym Rodianov & Daria Kapukhina won the Championship 2,2,1,1,1 but Sebastian Lennox & Veronica Baranova won the Scholarship 1,1,2,2,1. Quite an unusual turn of events.
Vibing in Lauderdale!
We’re here at Miami Vibe, but with one important difference – we’re not in Miami!
The venue for Miami Vibe this year is the beachside W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale – a half hour up the coast from Miami Beach.
Last night we witnessed a spectacular Open Professional Latin division that featured 2 of the world’s best among the contestants. Winning all dances were Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova, the current US Champions and Open British Champions. Troels & Ina won all 5 dances and did not lose even 1 first place from any judge. They had 15 firsts in all dances. The runner-up spot went to Nino Langella & Andra Vaidilaite from Italy. They similarly were very solidly in 2nd place with every judge except one placing them 2nd in all dances. Only judge, Armando Martin, dissented on that decision.
The biggest upset of the night came with the reversal of form for the 3rd and 4th place couples. On this night it was Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk who took third over Artur Tarnavskyy & Anastasiya Danilova. In looking at the judges’ scores, we noticed that it was quite a solid decision for Manuel & Natalia as they were 3rd in all dances and had the majority of “3rd or better” scores in all. Artur & Anastasiya were 4th in all dances. We have to say that Manuel & Natalia were definitely on form last night. 5th in all dances were Pasha Stepanchuk & Gabriella Sabler; 7,6,6,6,6 gave Andriy & Amanda Besyedin 6th overall and Vlad Kvartin & Anna Lisova were 7th 6,7,7,7,7. The event started with a semifinal.
The Open Pro Smooth was a little disappointing with only 4 couples entered. Clear winners, losing only a total of 2 first place marks were Voldymyr Barabash & Yulia Rodenko. 2nd in all were Dymytro Pohybil & Alona Kushnir; 3rd in all Dmitry Krasnyanskiy & Esther Frances; 4th in all Colton Gannon & Madyson Hart.
Taking 13 out of the 15 first places from the judges in the Cabaret division were Craig Smith & Andrea Harvey who showcased their high risk lift work. With a Ballroom style showdance to a Mary Poppins medley, Nazar Batih & Mariko Cantley took 2nd. 3rd Stanislav Morozov & Kseniia Tashkinova; 4th Fedor Artemev & Ekaterina Artemeva; 5th Mykhailo Anufriev & Anna Vietrynska.
As in previous years, Mariko Dozono presented pieces of her designer jewelry to a lucky lady in each open professional division. The award is by da draw among the finalists. Last night, by chance, the two winning ladies were also the winners of their events - Ina Jeliazkova and Yulia Rudenko.