Last week: two couples went home! This week: two more couples will go home! Will Michael & Anna ever leave? Lacey is out with the flu! There’s more group dancing! Live, from Hollywood, it’s Dancing with the Stars!
The show opens with a group dance by the pros, showing us some real Paso vs. Tango teamwork. Of course, they’re all fabulous. ABC totally needs to use the overhead camera much more often. That thing is awesome! Then the stars come down the stairs, and it’s trumpet time. But this time there are TWO Trumpet Guys, doing some sort of dueling trumpets thing. I think my head just exploded a little. This week, the stars designed the costumes, so we’re warned in advance that they’ll be hideous. Noted, Bergeron.
Dancing, dancing, and more dancing after the jump!
Michael & Anna – Foxtrot – I have to confess, I always expect the Foxtrot to be fast. Something about the word “trot” in there makes me want it to be like the Quick Step. M&A have costumes in a plummy color that aren’t half bad. Good job, Michael. They’re dancing to “Sunny Afternoon”, and it’s a fascinatingly weird song choice. In hold, Michael’s posture could be better, but his rise and fall is nice. There are a couple of moves where Anna is fully extended (oh, that sounds vaguely dirty) but Michael seems to be holding back. Overall he’s much improved, but still not doing a winning job. They end their routine with a couple of props, for a change of pace. Len is glad Michael is still around, because tonight was brilliant. Bruno says his musicality has improved, but notes that Michael’s bum still sticks out. Carrie Ann calls the performance gracious and fluid, and compliments the costumes. Scores: 8-8-7 for 23, and the audience boos Bruno for the 7.
Donny & Kym – Quick Step – Donny got to wear the posture bar. HA! He’s dapper in a tuxedo, but the dress he designed for Kym is like two beadazzled mops. In the dance, his posture does get a tiny bit slouchy now and then, but overall it’s decent. There are a couple of moments of awkwardness that look like something went ever so slightly wrong. Kym’s choreography is really nice, with some complicated moves. Bruno calls his performance solid as a rock, which was great for covering up all the mistakes. Carrie Ann likes his light footwork, and also calls out four or five little stumbles. Len loves the energy and commitment and pluck. Of course he has pluck, Len — he’s Donny Freakin’ Osmond. Scores: 8-8-8 for 24.
Mark & Anna T. – Samba – Lacey went home sick on Thursday. Tony Dovolani came in on Friday to help Mark. Saturday, back in L.A., Anna came in to finish the work. Good gravy, I’m worried. The costumes are weird — Mark gave himself a mesh shirt, and Anna’s wearing a weird half-dress with green scarves tacked to it. Not a fashionista, our Mark. The opening of the dance is kind of awkward, but the partnering bits are good. Anna’s even thrown in some of the challenging samba rolls, which go well. Mark looks like he’s having fun, which is essential for this party dance. There’s a misstep near the end, and it’s a weird mishmash of actual partner dancing combined with bits of jumping and flipping, but under the circumstances, it’s a fair performance. Carrie Ann says it was a mess, and completely disjointed, and blames Mark’s nervous energy. Len says he didn’t find it terrible, and thought he coped well. Bruno calls it a samba done by kung-fu panda in the middle of the planet of the apes. Then he pounds the desk like a monkey for emphasis. Bruno = brutal. Scores: 6-7-6 for 19.
Mya & Dmitry – Foxtrot – Cloris Leachman came to their rehearsal to talk about what things were like a thousand years ago, when the Foxtrot was new. Cloris nags them as if she’s some sort of professional, and she’s just as unfunny as ever. Mya’s dress for the dance is gorgeous, and Dmitry’s wearing a wonderful ice cream suit. She starts dancing solo in silhouette on the band stage, then it’s go time. Her frame is great, her rise and fall is great, there’s a nice combination of hold with entertaining moves, but I think Len’s going to hate how much of the dance was theatrical stuff. Len … yeah, hates the gimmicks and unnecessary bits. Bruno says they perfectly captured the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. Carrie Ann says that Len is officially smoking crack. She gives props to the costumes, and calls the dance dynamic, fluid, and graceful. Scores: 9-7-9 for 25.
Aaron & Karina – Jive – In rehearsals, he struggled. They went to a gym, where a tough-guy trainer put Aaron through speed drills. On the dance floor, their outfits don’t really match. He looks like Jerry Lee Lewis, and she’s in hot pink fringe like some kind of Austin Powers fembot. And he’s growing a baby Van Dyck with his wispy facial hair. They’re dancing to “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, which is awesome. His feet are fast, his kicks are high, and he’s staying in synch with Karina. He’s mouthing along with the song in a couple of spots, which I know is a Len no-no, but overall it’s a really energetic and precise performance. Bruno says Aaron kicked fast, “Like a Fury on warp drive — to the galaxy and beyond!” Oh, how I love the crazy talk. Carrie Ann compares him to a road runner, and calls it excellent, though she thought she spotted a bit of weirdness in the middle. Len calls it wild but clean, fast but controlled, fun but not slapstick. He was “tempted to dust off [his] 10 paddle, but…” Scores: 9-10-10 for 29. (Nice fake-out, Len!)
Kelly & Louis – Salsa – The rehearsal process doesn’t appear to have been a pleasant one. Kelly’s stressing out more every week, and there’s more to learn every week. She had at least one meltdown; here’s hoping she can relax. Their costumes are the worst so far, with Louis wearing ghastly fringed pants. Fortunately, halfway through the dance he pulls off the fringe and reveals plain black slacks. There are a few mistakes, and Kelly seems to be making a lot of small, timid movements. The dance ends with a nice spin, and it was overall a decent performance. The audience certainly loves her. Carrie Ann gives Kelly a high ten for making Louis wear those pants. Len stands up to give his comments, and has good things to say, but then tells her to bring it up another notch. Bruno, because he has to go bigger, jumps up on the desk and shakes his rump. He compliments the character — flirty and a little dirty, and naughty-Dottie. Yes, crazy talk! Scores: 8-8-8 for 24.
Joanna & Derek – Rumba – Derek is a big goofball during rehearsal, and we get to see a terrible sketch of his dream romance with Joanna. TERRIBLE. Their costumes are pretty nice, although Joanna seems to have gone a little heavy on the flesh-colored fabric on top. Their opening dip is fabulous, and for the most part the dance (to “The Look of Love”, nice choice) is smolderingly good. There a tiny stumble near the end, and a couple of moves where Joanna hikes up her knee to be sexy, but it looks like she’s going to knee Derek in the man-bits. But for the most part, the mood of the dance was spectacular. Len predicts that all of the judges enjoyed this dance, for three different reasons. Bruno calls her a “love goddess; high-definition feast for the eyes; so sexy I can taste it.” Then he points out the stumble. Carrie Ann loves watching Joanna. Scores: 9-9-9 for 27.
Team Dances – Four couples will dance the Paso Doble, and three will do the Tango. The couples all enter through a lighted ring and a cloud from a vaguely malfunctioning fog machine. Before each dance, we get a wad of rehearsal footage. For Team Paso Doble, all of the pros bickering about choreography. Meanwhile on Team Tango, the three pros choreographed the routine before they taught the stars. Advantage Tango.
Team Paso Doble (Aaron & Karina, Mya & Dmitry, Mark & Anna T., Michael & Anna) come out to dance to “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, and we get a little more use of the overhead camera. Aaron & Karina seem really detached in their solo, and they’re not terribly in synch. Plus, Aaron shouldn’t combine the tiny beard, slicked-back hair, and open shirt. Michael & Anna fare a little better, although Michael’s overworking his angry face. Mark & Anna T. get a cheer just for coming out for their solo. They do well, because he seems made for this dance. Mya & Dmitry have the headlining slot, and there’s more intricate choreography than with anyone else. Plus, she spins so hard her earring flies off. Cool. The team ends with some fairly good synchronized moves, and Aaron and Mark do matching flips. This season has had more acrobatic stars than any other. For Bruno, Mya & Dmitry stood out, and there were some issues with synch. Carrie Ann thought the choreography was a little simple, but applauded Mark for coming back from earlier. Len thought the routine improved as it went along. Scores: 8-8-8 for 24.
Team Tango (Donny & Kym, Joanna & Derek, Kelly & Louis) will be dancing to “You Give Love a Bad Name”, and in the first part they have some good synchronization. Joanna & Kelly rip Donny’s sleeves off, and everyone’s working well together. Kelly & Louis have the first solo, and they totally redeem themselves from their bad Tango earlier in the season. Kelly’s strong, and doesn’t miss steps, and never makes an oops-face. Although their choreography could be more complex. Donny & Kym take the middle spot and rock it, with some intricate moves and a great performance. Joanna & Derek bring it home with some fabulous moves and a delightful spin. Their closing team section is also strong and impressive, and I think they’ve totally beat Team Paso. Carrie Ann runs out from behind the desk and gives the stars high tens, then spanks the pros’ bottoms and chastises them for putting in a lift. Len admits that it’s easier to dance a Tango than a Paso, then calls this the obviously superior dance. Bruno has crazy talk things to say about all three of them. Scores: 9-9-10 for 28.
At the top of the leaderboard: Joanna & Derek with 55 out of 60. At the bottom: Mark & Anna T. with 43. Again this week, the bottom-scoring team will be eliminated, and the next two lowest scores will have a dance-off. I’m crossing my fingers for poor Mark. Go, Sensei Ping! Tomorrow: Rod Stewart, singing! Derek Hough & Mark Ballas, singing! And we’ll winnow it down to a meager 5 couples.
Missy hates herself for loving blogging at themissy.com.