Week 7 of the Dancing With the Stars brought us a Halloween special complete with special effects, themed dances, and elaborate makeup and costumes on the dancers, hosts, judges, and even the band members.
To start the night, David and Kym performed a cha cha (complete with magic tricks) to “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band. David is still working hard, but taking plenty of time to let his goofy side out. Len said his dance provided lots of tricks and lots of treats, Bruno shouted some inscrutable praise, and Carrie Ann was impressed with David’s phenomenal improvement. Triple 8s gave the pair a 24.
J.R. and Karina tangoed to the theme from “Ghostbusters.” Karina was undoubtedly the sexiest ghost I’ve ever seen, and J.R. was a crowd-pleaser as usual. Bruno said the performance was solid, even though J.R. lost his timing a little bit. Carrie Ann loved the tone of the dance, but Len thought that it was substandard compared to J.R.’s previous weeks. The pair scored a 25 (9, 8, 8).
Next up, Nancy and Tristan jived to “Devil Went Down To Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band. Honestly, it was a little awkward to watch, even thought Nancy is working hard and having a great time. Carrie Ann said it wasn’t such a good day for Nancy, Len thought it wasn’t a good dance for her, and Bruno complained about her footwork. The judges awarded them triple 7s, for a total of 21.
Rob and Cheryl’s tango to “Addams Family Theme” earned them a standing ovation. The Morticia and Gomez costumes were fabulous, and Rob was surprisingly powerful. Cheryl has done tremendously well teaching him. Len said they did a terrific job in this crucial week, Bruno thought Rob was strong (even though he needs to work on controlling his bum), and Carrie Ann told Rob it was his best dance so far. Scores of 9, 8, 8 tied the pair with J.R. and Karina at 25.
Ricki and Derek danced a paso doble to Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams.” Ricki pushed past the pain of a rib injury (ouch) to deliver an impressive performance. Even though Bruno and Carrie Ann criticized the way Ricki held her shoulders (which may have been due to her injury), they agreed that the dance was great overall. Len complimented her beautiful shapes. Triple 9s gave the couple a 27, which landed them at the top of the leader board for the night (a position with which they are quite familiar).
The final couple of the evening, Hope and Maks, sambaed to “Werewolves of London.” Maks also battled an injury this week, so a member of the troupe stood in for him during rehearsals. Apparently, it had no negative impact on their performance, as the judges gave them plenty of praise. Carrie Ann liked the new ease of motion Hope displayed, and Len and Bruno agreed that she did well with the dance. Even though ‘WereMaks’ was hot, the routine seemed slightly forced to me. The pair earned triple 8s for a total score of 24.
The evening’s competition didn’t end here, however. There were two team dances yet to come. First up was Team Tango, which included J.R., David, Nancy, and their professional partners. The straightjacket costumes and makeup meshed well with Rihanna’s song “Disturbia.” The group parts of the dance were entertaining, but the individual duets were almost dull at times. The judges were definitely not impressed with the individual sections, but thought the overall performance was okay. Their scores of 8, 7, 8 (total 23) for the team will be added to each couple’s individual score for the night.
Finally, Team Paso, comprised of Ricki, Rob, Hope, and their partners, stormed the dance floor to paso doble to “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence. This energetic, invigorating dance was clearly the winning group performance. Bruno enjoyed the power and the drama, Carrie Ann liked the way everyone was in sync, and Len approved of the individual sections. The judges gave the team scores of 9, 8, 9 (total 26), which will also be combined with each pair’s individual total.
Tonight we’ll find out who made it through this relatively low-scoring week to return to the dance floor next week. I might wear my pink-sequined Minnie Mouse ears again while watching, just to squeeze every last ounce of Halloween fun out of the season.