Saturday the professional events were quite good with some excellent dancers. The Open Professional Latin for example had the duo of Rangel Spirov & Veronika Chernyavska from Texas who thrilled the audience and had then at one point on their feet applauding their Latin skills. Rangel & Veronika won the cha cha with perfect scores from the judges and in the other two dance they missed perfection by one mark in each that came from Albina. Second in this fun heat was awarded to Anton Silantev & Olga Aropova who placed second in all dances and where the recipients of Albina’s four 1st place marks missing from Rangel & Veronika’s score card. We felt that Rangle & Veronika were by far the best from the group and deservedly easily won this competition.
It was a tie for third and fourth place, one that had to be broken with a Rule11 decision. Both couples here had a total of 14 points each making it a tie, once the rule was applied David Elser & Elizabeth Krug placed third 4,3,4,3, and Jason Rivers & Jennifer David took fourth 3,4,3,4. On this outing for us we felt that, Jason & Jennifer might have had a little of an edge especially when it came to musicality and interpretation, but both couples were technically sound and able to fulfill the third place finish position. At the end as you just saw the skating system broke the tie and that was the result.
Fifth went to Anastasia & Mykhailo Azarov in all dances, this is a very talented couple that started like a rocket but somewhere in the middle they faded and things can at times get a little to sweaty and disorganized. I think with time and experience they will for sure be able to challenge higher. And sixth in this terrific final was awarded to Yutaka Kubota & May Hibino from Japan. They were a couple with a lot of talent if you could find them on the floor. They needed to dance to this high ceilinged ballroom and perhaps they were dancing to a normal ceiling making them look small.
We most also point out a rare occurrence that happened in the Rising Star Smooth the day before and that was that we were running about 15 minutes late when the heat was called to order. Before it started this heat was supposed to be a semifinal round of eight couples but fifteen minutes passed and a final was announced and the couples took to the floor and danced the waltz. When the Tango was about to start the couple showed up and so the Chairman of Judges made the determination to let them start from the tango, a good decision we felt out of respect for all the other couples that were there on time and had danced their first dance. So now an eight-couple final was called in the tango, foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. I am sure it was a tough tango for the judges who had to now consider this new couple but one that with the amount of judges, was easily done. This we thought was a good decision in a evening that could go on past midnight if we had to start all over again.
It was great to be back in the Hawaiian Islands and a big thank you goes to organizers, David Alvarez & John Allen for their attention to details. We loved the live fish in the center pieces!!