The stars thought they had it hard until now. But at this point in the competition, they are responsible for two dances a night. Of course, tonight the second dance is just the 60′s themed group dance. (Just, he says. As if he ever had to do it. And yes, Mark is now referring to himself in the third person. At least until this paragraph ends.)
And we can’t forget that the stars actually designed the costumes this week. So far, I don’t notice too much out of the ordinary except for Edyta. She is wearing a fur collar coat or something else equally funny. I may not be able to stop laughing when it comes their turn to dance.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – Argentine Tango – This week, Melissa got a behind the scenes look at Wisteria Lane from Teri Hatcher all in an attempt to bring out her inner man eater. You know, it might have worked. I do think this is the sexiest dance we’ve seen from her yet. Of course, they are showing us lots of foot work, so it’s hard to judge for sure. I loved the lifts, which Len reminded us are legal in this dance. Len thought it was fantastic, praising the foot work and the interaction. He did find a small mistake, which actually seemed to surprise Melissa for a change. Normally, she’s agreeing with the judges when they say something negative about her dance. Bruno had nothing but praise. Carrie Ann said it was the best Argentine Tango we’ve seen and crowned them the king and queen of legal lifts.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska – Waltz – Lawrence’s main goal this week is to smooth it out while attending a golf fund raiser for his charity. Plus we got to watch Edyta try to hit a golf ball. That coat is going to work for this dance, but I do wish it was a Latin number or something with that costume just for the laughs. Anyway, Lawrence seems to be doing pretty well. For all his talk about lack of rehearsal time, this is the best I’ve seen from him yet. He lost his balance at one point while already kneeling on the ground, but it was a minor mistake. This should be one of his better scores. Bruno said it wasn’t terrible but not brilliant either. Carrie Ann said there was more freedom in his movement. Len saw more problems with costume interference than I did, but said he was shocked at how well it went.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21
Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough – Rumba – Lil’ Kim isn’t happy with the top spot. She wants a perfect 30, so they are aiming for toned down sexy to make Len happy. Was that Derek singing along or reminding Kim of the next movie? I think they hit the right balance between sweet and sexy. However, the dance seems a tad drab to me. Not completely sure why, but it wasn’t as good as I expected from her. Carrie Ann agrees, saying it was understated but also underwhelming. Len agreed with Carrie Ann, saying parts were good and parts weren’t. He also said you can’t aim to please only one person (and admitted to loving the sexiness while not marking it very high.) Bruno said it was a good Rumba, but it didn’t work as well as it should have.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough – Samba – Chuck is aiming to not let his fans down but would like good scores. Like a 9. That choreography at the beginning was pretty great with the breaks in the music. We may have finally found his dance. I’m not seeing any major flaws. And it is very fun, too. Len liked it a lot, saying it was his best dance to date. Bruno praised his hip action. And Carrie Ann was on her feet.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27 (He wanted one 9, and he got three.)
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower – Waltz – Jewel stopped by to tease Ty a little but also gave them some hints on how to make this work for them. Ty is back to being stiff, and he’s very conscious of getting the rise and falls into the dance. He smoothed out as the dance went on. I liked it, but it didn’t wow me as much as some of the others have tonight. Bruno, on the other hand, said Ty is back in the game. Carrie Ann praised his frame, and is happy he is back. Len said it was spot on.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Cha Cha – At least according to the rehearsal footage, they didn’t start rehearsing until late this last week. And Shawn missed the practice for the group number, too. Too busy accepting prestigious awards. We’ll see if the first week she wasn’t in LA hurt her. Here’s a shocker, I never would have guessed she didn’t have much rehearsal time by watching. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) I am loving this song, too. Frankly, there isn’t much to talk about. It was a very good dance. She’s another one that will be tough to beat. Carrie Ann said she finally combined technique with bringing the technique to life. Len thought it was a good combination of sharpness and rhythm. Bruno said she added a new vibrancy tonight.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 28
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke – Viennese Waltz – He’s having a hard time moving from the sharpness of the Latin dances to the more refined Waltz. Cheryl had him do some synchronized swimming to attempt to get the movements down. I think it worked. His movements are fluid. I expect Gilles to be back on top. This is a smooth and sexy dance. Len said it was superb overall, but did say he needs to work on his footwork. Bruno said it was glamorous with a bit of sexy thrown in. Carrie Ann said he is the most graceful dancer she has seen, but did say his posture could be a touch better.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27
Big 60′s Group Dance – And the TV goes black and white as the dance begins. We start out with the females on boxes and then the men come out dancing in two lines. We’re about a minute into it before the couples are dancing together. And the color is slowly returning to the screen as well as the couples begin to do their solos. The whole thing was high energy. And fun, of course. These numbers are always so much. And, as always, the judges did nothing but praise it.
The rankings wound up looking like this:
1. Melissa – 29
2. Shawn – 28
3. Chuck – 27
3. Gilles – 27
5. Lil’ Kim – 26
6. Ty – 24
7. Lawrence – 22
And my predictions for tomorrow?
Encore: The big group number. Why break a seven season tradition now?
Bottom two: I really think it could be Ty and Lawrence in the bottom two this week. Don’t know yet if they will have a bottom two and/or a dance off. (If they told us, I wasn’t listening. I tend to tune Tom and Samantha out half the time). I think it will come down to fan base, so Ty will probably go home.
But we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out for sure.