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Dancing with the Stars – The New Mix

So tonight is all about the new as the celebrities do one of four dances that have never been done on the show before. Personally, I can’t wait to see what I think, so let’s get right to it.

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer – West Coast Swing – Okay, before we even get to the dance, we have to talk about the interview. Lacey brought in her dad, Buddy Schwimmer, to help teach Lance the dance. I have met Buddy. He was friends with the people who ran the dancing studio I took lessons from as a teenager. He even judged one of the competitions I lost. So basically, yeah, I had a cool freak out moment when I made that connection. (And maybe Lacey can use her influence to get them to include my favorite dance, the Nightclub Two Step, which was invented by her father.)

Moving on to the dance, I didn’t care for the music, but I thought the dance was good. They both looked like they were having fun, but it was looking technically perfect from what I saw. The one underarm turn looked a little awkward, and there was the time that Lance slipped, but those were the only flaws I saw. And he didn’t let that slow him down too much. The judges were rather hard on them, however because they felt that the focus was too much on Lacey and not enough on Lance’s dancing ability. Based on those comments, I think the scores aren’t going to be as strong as I would have liked.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 I would have given it an 8, and that only because of Lance’s fall, so maybe it isn’t quite as low as I thought it might be. Still, I definitely have a couple to root for now.

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo – West Coast Swing – Since each dance is only going to be done twice, I appreciate them doing both back to back. You know, the problem with the rehearsal videos is they make me focus on one thing over anything else. I’m not so sure that Toni really fixed her posture problems. (Like I’m one to talk.) Anyway, this was an okay, West Coast Swing, but it wasn’t nearly as cool as Lance and Lacey’s, even if Toni was doing more of the dancing. And I haven’t heard anything about them relaxing the lifts rule this week, so that lift, while the best part of the dance, is going to cost them. The judges were hard on her as well. Bruno thought the parts were they broke away from the dance hurt things, Carrie Ann said she needed to feel the music, and Len said she lacked excitement to reach her potential.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 Total – 22 How did this get a better score then Lance? Seriously, even if Lacey was doing more dancing than Lance, they had the better dance. Yes, it’s only one point, but still.

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani – Hustle – She found out this morning that she has two fractured bones in her foot, so we’ll see how that affects tonight’s performance. I wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t told us. The foot work looked great. I’m not familiar with the hustle, but this didn’t seem like what I was looking for. I think it was just a little too classy for me. And, obviously, they must have relaxed the lifts rule because there were two of them in that routine. The judges agreed with me. Len even asked to be wowed. Carrie Ann said she looked like she was dancing in a glass box. Bruno seemed to like it the best.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 Total – 22 No surprise that Bruno gave it a higher score than the others. I’m okay with that one. It was certainly a fine dance, but not the blow out it could have been.

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson – Hustle – This is what I was looking for. Frankly, I still don’t think Warren is light enough on his feet to be a champion, but he’s certainly doing a better hustle than Susan did on this dance. And it’s lots of fun to boot. The judges all praised it without exception. Finally, we all seem to have enjoyed a dance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 25 I thought they’d get another 9, but this is the best score of the night so far for the best dance so far.

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas – Salsa – Again, she looks like she is trying. But her age is definitely coming through tonight. She just looks stiff and uncomfortable most of the time. That isn’t a complete criticism because I certainly hope I can move like she can at that age. But as the competition goes on, her lack of skills are going to come out. Bruno said it was a Salsa, but with a pitcher of margaritas in her. Len loves Cloris because she is the first person on the show that is older than he is. He did praise the dance as well. I think given the chance Carrie Ann would have picked on it, but she didn’t get a chance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 That’s tied for the bottom. You know I’ve got to go there, but I honestly did think that Lance’s dance was better than this.

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke – Salsa – They may have had a hard week in rehearsal, but they are knocking this dance out of the park. It’s got great energy with some very fun tricks to it. The drama was good for them. I think this should pick up their scores from last week. I just wish they had used a different camera so we could have seen that trick at the end better. Carrie Ann gave him a hug. Len praised the energy (and said that Cheryl is scarier than they are.) Bruno praised it as well.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27 Highest score of the night and his best to date. Well earned.

Anyone notice who the couples are for the Jitterbug? We’ve got the brother and sister teams facing off.

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough – Jitterbug – Well, he might not have known what he was doing, but Derek sure figured it out. This is what I was picturing for the Jitterbug, lots of energy and fun on a swing base. I’d say they nailed it. Len said Brooke is consistently at the top of the heap. Bruno loved it, and Carrie Ann, after asking if she could nit pick, said she couldn’t. Sounds like we’ve got some good scores coming.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29 Highest score of the season. And certainly well earned. If Brooke can keep this up, she will be hard to beat.

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough – Jitterbug – I’ve been looking forward to this dance all night just because Julianne is dressed as one of my favorite characters ever, Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy. If Cody is dressed as Ricky, it’s not quite as obvious to me. We’ve got another great Jitterbug here. Although I did figure I would like the Jitterbug because I enjoy these styles of dance. It does seem like they focused a little too much on tricks over content. But they did nail the tricks. Bruno said what they did was slapstick (making sense with Lucy out there) and liked it. Carrie Ann says that they are giving “Someone else a run for her money.” And Len praised it as well.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 28 So close to the top, but Cody is definitely on the upswing. Hopefully, it continues. (And I’ve never seen the judges boo’d for a 28 before.

So here are the standings this week:
1. Brooke – 29
2. Cody – 28
3. Maurice – 27
4. Warren – 25
5. Toni – 22
5. Susan – 22
7. Lance – 21
7. Cloris – 21

Encore: I’ve been saying that Brooke would get the encore all season, and she has yet to make it. Will this be the week? Possibly, although I wouldn’t put it past the judges to give it to Cody. Either one of them deserves it, so we’ll just have to see.

Bottom Two: With four couples only one point apart, this could be any body’s guess. But I’m going to go with the obvious and say Lance and Cloris. This should be the week that Cloris goes home, but I am a little worried that my endorsement of Lance at the beginning of the night may have doomed him to go home instead.

There is a special recap episode tomorrow the hour before the results episode. And they are promising a sneak peak at High School Musical 3 during that hour. You can bet I’ll be tuning in.


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