Alright dance fans, I hope you fixed yourself a drink. It’s Argentine Tango and Rumba night, and things are about to get steamy. Or awkward. Probably a little of both. And, for the first time, the judges will give out two sets of scores – one for technique and one for performance, like in figure skating.
It’s also Acoustic Week, for no discernible reason. Believe me, no one is watching this show for Harold Wheeler or his band. Apparently going acoustic will create a more “intimate” setting. Seriously, go get a drink. You’re going to need it.
Also, OMG NEW FLOOR. The stage has been changed to be a small raised circle, so now the couples are literally on a pedestal. And the audience has been pushed super close to the circle-stage for increased “intimacy.” This seems like a strange (and expensive) challenge to throw at our couples when it’s only week 4, but it does present the opportunity for someone to dramatically fall off the stage. The suspense is killing me!
But before we could get into the competition, we needed to be educated in How Dancing the Rumba on a Circular Stage is Different than Dancing on the Normal Floor. Dmitry and Chelsie took to the circle to demonstrate, and the world gasped in shock as we learned that dancing on a circle floor is no different than dancing on the regular ballroom floor. Mind = blown.
Kurt and Anna – Rumba: Kurt has difficulty in rehearsals doing “the dance of love” with Anna, so his wife and Jonathan (Anna’s husband) have to come in and watch and give their approval. As for their actual performance, it was …. tame. Not that the rumba should be wild and crazy, but I’m not sure I felt any passion between these two. Len said he had nice hip action but should work on his posture, Bruno said the movement has to flow through his hands and their dance looked like it was between a brother and sister, and Carrie Ann said she loved their performance. Technical Scores: 5-5-5. Performance Scores: 7-6-6.
Brandy and Maks – Rumba: Ohhhh, Brandy. Every week she gets more and more unlikable. This week, after hearing that Brandy has a hard time feeling romantic, Maks took her out to a nice dinner and gave her flowers to help get her into the mood. Brandy immediately criticized him. Hello? There are plenty of girls who would trade places with you, Brandy (one of them is currently blogging here).Their dance was actually pretty good, definitely sultry, and she continues to show improvement. Bruno said her hands were erratic, Carrie Ann said she needs more strength in her legs, and Len said the dance was hot and spicy. Technical Scores: 7-8-7. Performance Scores: 9-8-9.
Time for more education. This time, professionals explained (through dance) How Dancing the Argentine Tango on a Circular Stage is Different than Dancing on the Normal Floor. The answer will surprise you – it is also no different than dancing on the regular floor. I know – try to contain yourselves.
Rick and Cheryl – Argentine Tango: Cheryl recently traveled to Argentina, and is now a master in this style. Or something. More importantly, lifts are allowed in this dance. Also important: Rick is wearing a fake mustache. This routine was decent, although Rick lacked a lot of the precision that defines an Argentine Tango. The lifts were solid, but he appeared tentative at times, which hindered his performance. Carrie Ann said it was one-dimensional, Len said the lifts were excellent, and Bruno said it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Technical Scores: 6-7-6. Performance Scores: 6-7-7.
Kyle and Lacey – Rumba: If there was anyone who was going to have a hard time this week, it was Kyle, because he’s such a boy. And he didn’t do a bad job! This routine looked more like a dirty-ish prom dance than a rumba, but when it comes to performance, Kyle is in a league all his own. Len said his footwork was much better, Bruno said the dance was missing a flow, and Carrie Ann said she liked the innocent tone of the dance. Technical Scores: 6-6-6. Performance Scores: 8-7-7.
The Situation and Karina – Argentine Tango: Finally! Karina put his “situation” to work, and they were practicing some pretty scary-looking lifts in rehearsals. Honestly, I was nervous for her going into this routine, because I’m not sure The Situation is the most reliable partner out there, and they’re on a raised platform. Dancer danger! But if this dance was anything, it was smart. The Situation will never be able to win on his technique, so instead they packed this routine with a bunch of crazy lifts. Bruno said it was a terrible mess, Carrie Ann said she saw improvement, and Len said it was consistently bad throughout. Technical Scores: 4-4-4. Performance Scores: 6-5-5.
Florence and Corky – Rumba: The words “Corky” and “Rumba” should never be put together. There was also implied Corky-nudity in their rehearsal footage, which will now give me nightmares …. oh, let’s say, forever. And here’s a perennial question: why does each season’s “mature” couple always resort to over-the-top raunch when tasked with one of these dances? Why can’t they just do a romantic dance? This routine was okay – there were some good moments, some scary moments, some awkward moments, and some Corky moments. Carrie Ann cried, “what just happened?!,” Len said it was much better than he expected, and Bruno said he’s seen better from her. Technical Scores: 6-6-5. Performance Scores: 6-6-6.
Jennifer and Derek – Argentine Tango: And so, Jennifer continues her march toward greatness. There was some genius choreography here – seriously, some of Derek’s best work. And I don’t know what happened to Jennifer between last week and this week, but oh.em.gee. She’s amazing. Len said it was magnificent, Bruno called it a prime-time delight, and Carrie Ann said her passion and precision were incredible. Technical Scores: 9-9-9. Performance Scores: 10-9-10. The season’s first 10s!
Bristol and Mark – Rumba: For a “star” who came into this competition being so concerned with maintaining her image, Bristol did a rumba that started with her writhing on the floor and ended with her undressing Mark. I was too stunned to really notice her dancing, but I think it went well. (Also, the Palins were in the audience, minus the booing.) Bruno said she goes vacant during her dances, Carrie Ann said she has all the makings of a dancer but she doesn’t dance with any intensity, and Len said Mark’s bare chest was a distraction. Technical Scores: 6-6-6. Performance Scores: 4-5-5.
Audrina and Tony – Argentine Tango: Okay, so tonight belongs to the ladies. Audrina’s tango was sultry and precise, and a nice close to the night. Audrina continues to improve steadily, and I think in another two weeks she’ll be a tour de force. Carrie Ann said she needs to work on her extensions, Len said it was a clean routine but it didn’t transport him, and Bruno said that it was a difficult routine but she did well. Technical Scores: 8-8-8. Performance Scores: 8-7-7.
Tomorrow’s elimination will be tough one to call – if I had to guess, I would say Florence and Corky will be going home. Anyone else want to weigh in?
The Disney Chick will continue to have Corky-induced nightmares over at www.thedisneychick.com.