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Dancing with the Stars – Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

Samantha is back! As much as I think the backstage interviews are pointless, I hadn’t realized how much I missed her until tonight. I even thought Drew was doing a decent job before she came back, too.

Tonight’s dances are the Viennese Waltz and the Paso Doble. While they usually have a Latin and Ballroom dance in the same night, these are probably the biggest differences between the two. My first reaction was that the Viennese Waltz was a first for the show, and I appreciated Tom confirming my thoughts. It made for a great change of pace.

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson – Viennese Waltz – So, is this the big breakthrough?  I would certainly agree this is his best dance to date. And it would be wonderful for the first round. But with what everyone else is doing, it leaves a little something to be desired. And what was with that lift?  By now, the pros definitely should no about the no lifts rule. I certainly do. And yet they try to slip it in. Or, since Carrie Ann didn’t mention it, maybe it wasn’t a lift.  ure looked like it to me.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 8 Bruno – 7 Total – 22  Wow, Len is the high score.  And it’s Mark’s best score to date.  But it leaves him at the bottom of the pack.

Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas – Paso Doble – So, a chance to show shades of slow and fast. And they did have some change of tempos in that tonight. It was great, but it wasn’t my favorite dance of the night.  It seemed like they ended a couple beats after the music, but couples often do that and no one seems to say anything about it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 Total – 30  The first 10s and the first perfect score of the season! Quite obviously, the judges loved it, as if you couldn’t tell that from their comments. I guess this is the technical vs. the show of the dance. I liked some of the others better, but there wasn’t anything wrong with this one. Or maybe it’s the fact that I am rooting for different stars? I never claimed to be impartial, right?

Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani – Viennese Waltz – I’m going to leave that dance painting alone. I’m just glad they didn’t try it on the dance floor. I think I don’t get Jane because that was nice, but not nearly as great as Marie’s and Jennie’s later. I really find it hard to believe that Carrie Ann picked on the "lifts" here but didn’t say a thing to Mark about it. I went back and watched my tape a second time, and I couldn’t quite tell. Her feet may have left on that first spin, but it wasn’t obvious. Yet Mark clearly did a lift, and no one said a thing to him about it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 26  So without that lift, they would have had a 27.  A strong score either way.

Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff – Paso Doble – The men just don’t seem to have it this season.  They are trying, but the women are so much better. Floyd is obviously trying and working hard, but it doesn’t have the polish that the women are brining to the floor. And I was thinking that was a lift as well. No hesitation on my part like with Jane.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 23  A definite step in the right direction, and definitely a better dance then last week.  But he really has a ways to go to catch up to the leaders.

Mel B. & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Viennese Waltz – Absolutely no lifts! If this is supposed to be the romantic dance, I felt like it was missing. It had grace and was nice to look at, but it seemed to be missing the romance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 26  Len is being a softie this week, and Carrie Ann is being the harsh judge. I was surprised that Len gave this one a 9. Based on the comments, I really expected Bruno to be the only one.

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Silwinska – Paso Doble – This dance always brings out the most unique music choices. I never would have thought to dance to the Superman theme. Unlike last year’s Star Wars theme, I don’t think this one worked quite as well. But it was a great dance for tonight. Carrie Ann had to mention the lift, but it was so blatant anyone who was paying attention could see it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27  So the question becomes did Carrie Ann take off a point for that lift or not.  And another man begins to show that he’s truly a contender in this competition.

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts – Viennese Waltz – That was absolutely lovely, gentle, and beautiful.  Everything you’d expect from a romantic dance. And Marie’s feet didn’t leave the floor during that spin.  Yet it gets a sleepy stripper critique. And I don’t care what Tom says, that’s the quote of the night.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 8 Total – 26  It didn’t surprise that Bruno was a step down from the others. It was slow and sleepy, but I completely disagree with Bruno’s comments. That’s what made it so beautiful. And there’s no way you could have done anything else with that song.

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough – Paso Doble – What a different energy level from the last dance. That was fast and furious. Looks great, lots of drama. Easily my favorite Paso of the night. I watched my tape carefully and Carrie Ann was right. That was indeed another lift. But that was the worst comment.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 10 Bruno – 9 Total – 27  I was expecting a 26 when I saw Carrie Ann’s 8, but Len offset her.  That’s a great score even with the point knocked off from her.

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough – Viennese Waltz – I think he’s climbed back up the leader board.  That did have more energy then Marie’s dance, but it was also elegant and fun. Wonderful comments from the judges, too, with the exception of a nit pick about his head position.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27  Strong scores put him near the top of the pack again.

I keep saying this is a strong season, and tonight proves it again. The leader board is crowded there at the top.

1. Sabrina
2. Cameron (tie)
2. Jennie (tie)
2. Helio (tie)
5. Jane (tie)
5. Mel (tie)
5. Marie (tie)
8. Floyd
9. Mark

I think the obvious prediction this week is Sabrina for the encore. While I personally thought that Jennie, Helio, and Marie were the best dances of the night, Sabrina was the obvious front runner in their minds.

The Bottom Two is a little harder, but I am going to go with the obvious choices, Floyd and Mark. They are in the bottom by only 3 and 4 points respectively. They are also the only two who have been in the bottom two before. And both of them seem to be struggling the most. While the others are getting nit picky comments, they are getting some pretty big critiques. I thought Mark was fun for the first few weeks, but it’s time for him to go. I don’t want him taking someone’s place that is a better dancer in the next few weeks. I’m going to predict that Floyd ultimately goes home, however, since Mark seems to have a huge base voting for him.

And I thrilled to see Helio climb back up the leader board and Cameron join him there. Maybe, once Mark and Floyd leave, we can eliminate one or two women. Ultimately, I still think this season is going to a woman, however.

Don’t forget to read Mark over at his own blog.