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Dancing with the Stars 8-4: Argentine Tango and Lindy Hop

Once again, they are throwing two brand new dances into the mix. This week, we’ve got the Lindy Hop and the Argentine Tango. This should challenge not only the stars but the professionals. Plus they can do lifts. I know I’ll really enjoy the Lindy Hop since it’s another high energy swing type dance, and you know how much I love those. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson – Lindy Hop – This is exactly what I was looking forward to with the Lindy Hop. A couple of fun lifts, but the whole thing was high energy fun. I can understand why Kym called it a workout, however. I was tired just watching it. Imagine what I’ll be like in a couple of hours. Len said it was exactly right with the high energy fun. However, he did loose the beat a few times. Bruno also said he missed footwork in a good performance. Carrie Ann didn’t notice the problems and thought it was great, especially considering his age.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 22

Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough – Argentine Tango – During rehearsal, they had a hard time keeping it serious since they have so much fun together. On the other hand, they did struggle since Derek was learning it this week, too. That opening was something else with the flying legs. This is really nothing like I’ve seen before, but I am loving it. They aren’t moving around the floor too much, but all that leg and footwork is fun to watch. And they kept a serious face the entire time, too. They got a well deserved standing ovation. Bruno called it the tale of a fatal beauty and loved it. Carrie Ann says Lil’ Kim is the real deal. And Len says he was knocked out by the choreography but not the sensuality. Sounds like some good scores are in her future.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 10 Total – 27 (First 10 of the season.)

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough – Lindy Hop – You could just tell from some of the costumes which couples would be doing which dances, and I called this one right away. There was no way they were doing a Tango in those restaurant duds. Chuck is really struggling with the back flip because of a fear of landing on his head, so they took it out. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this one seems a bit less than David’s to me. It was fun and high energy, but it just didn’t seem as impressive. Carrie Ann thought it was good, however, but says he needs to go beyond safe. Len says it was competent but needs to go to the next level. And Bruno said the style was wonderful but it was a bit loose around the edges and needed to be crispier.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 22

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska – Argentine Tango – Lawrence had a hard time getting into the character of the dance during the week. He seems a little stiff, but he always does. Still, he’s much better than the rehearsal they showed us. And this is a sultry dance with an amazing lift at the end. Len said he did a decent acting job, but it was heavy, uncomfortable, and lacked passion. Bruno completely disagreed, saying he was menacing and intense, but he was stomping when he was should have been gliding. Tom actually had to break in and make Carrie Ann the tie breaker. She agreed with both, saying he showed power but lacked chemistry.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 5 Bruno – 7 Total – 19 (That’s a rare time when two of the judges are two points above the other one.)

(And as long as I am talking in parenthesis, I wonder what is up with Samantha’s voice tonight. And after the break, Tom tells us that Samantha’s voice is disappearing faster than his 401K.)

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower – Lindy Hop – They miscued the intro at first, but then gave us the right one. Ty’s going to have a hard time with the speed of this dance. At least that’s my take on things. Of course, they are trying to incorporate lots of lifts, so that might make up for it. For my taste, this one was too much about the lifts and only really put serious dancing into it at the end. It looked a bit too much like Chelsie dancing around Ty while he was walking more than dancing. Bruno thought it was good but he was still rough around the edges loosing sync in few places. Carrie Ann promises a good score. Len loved it, too, saying he has passed any expectations. So that makes me the grump of the night.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 25

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff – Argentine Tango – Now that Steve realizes he has fans, he’s going to attempt to get serious and show his fans he can dance. That’s good news as far as I am concerned. Just when I was beginning to think they were going to do the whole thing with that chair, they actually moved down to the floor. I do think Steve is trying this week, unlike last week, but he still has a very long ways to go. This would be a good first week dance, but Karina did all the fancy stuff. Carrie Ann felt like the dance was long, and not in a good way. She searched for something positive to say. Len praised him for trying to do a real Tango, but there was only marginal improvement. Bruno said it really stunk.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 4 Len – 4 Bruno – 4 Total – 12

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – Lindy Hop – The goal this week is to challenge Melissa so she can stay at the top. Here we go, the best Lindy Hop of the night so far. Yes, there are lots of lifts, including that impressive under the legs things at the beginning. But in between lifts, they are dancing like crazy. High energy and perfectly timed moves. My jaw hit the floor when they did that next to the last lift that included her controlled drop head first toward the floor. They seem very pleased with themselves. Len says she has the potential to go all the way although the last lift was a little sticky. Bruno called it truly eye popping fun. Carrie Ann gave them a high 10 and said she was now impressed.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29 (Puts the pressure on the rest of the leaders.)

Holly Madison & Dmitry Chaplin – Argentine Tango – Last week, Holly strained the muscles around her ribs, and she isn’t getting better as the week goes on. But she’s going to fight through the pain. The stuff with the stool just wound up being awkward since she slipped off it. When she was off, they should have stayed off. I’m not sure if they were killing time or were supposed to go back to the stool. Once they got left it behind and danced, it was better. I just love the flying leg stuff. And that was a wonderful twirling lift. But I also noticed a few parts where she was off from the beat. Bruno said it was a bad start and kept getting worse. She seemed to agree with him. Carrie Ann praised her for sticking with it and dancing through the pain, but she needs to work on her strength. Len thought the routine was good, but she never overcame the rough start. He did say she is improving very slowly.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 6 Bruno – 5 Total – 16

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer – Lindy Hop – Considering all his back problems, this could be painful for him. Yet he is more stressed about learning the steps, so Lacey brings in a clown costume to help him relax. This is definitely the best I’ve seen Steve-O dance for a few weeks. Of course, he didn’t injure himself and he remembered the routine, so it wasn’t hard. He seemed a beat behind about half the time, but it was big and fun. Hopefully, this gives him something to build from. Carrie Ann, on the other hand, really picked up on the fact he was a step behind. Len agreed that the timing was the big issue. Bruno said it was more hopping mad than Lindy Hop.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 Total – 15 (They agreed on the score, but I thought it was a little better than that.)

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke – Argentine Tango – Gilles was putting too much pressure on himself, so Cheryl relaxed him by reminding him he really got to act during it. Steamy hot with amazing choreography. All those leg flicks were wonderful. The passion was amazing. And that lift to end it was perfect. Carrie Ann is over there fanning herself, but we started with Len, who called it amazing and the best Tango of the night. Bruno said it had almost deadly animal magnetism. Carrie Ann said she couldn’t tell who was the professional and who was the star. I’m going to guess a perfect score.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 Total – 30 (Anything less would have been a travesty. Absolutely deserved.)

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Lindy Hop – They are going to try to incorporate some of Shawn’s gymnastics into the routine. And it gave us a good chance to laugh at Mark trying to do some gymnastics. Of course, we also get to laugh at his geek get up for the dance. I actually expected more tricks after all the talking. Not that I’m complaining. This is another top notch dance with high energy and fun. (I feel like I am saying that a lot tonight.) They did include more flips near the end. Bruno was watching a different dance then I was because he thought it had too many tricks and not enough dancing. Carrie Ann thought she was a bit heavy on her feet when dancing. Len agreed with Bruno.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 25

And so ends our night. Here are the standings:

1. Gilles
2. Melissa
3. Lil’ Kim
4. Ty
4. Shawn
6. David
6. Chuck
8. Lawrence
9. Holly
10. Steve-O
11. Steve

I’m really not sure what to expect tomorrow. We have a double elimination, but they haven’t told us if there will be a dance off. My guess is the bottom three couples dance again and the bottom two go home, but I could be wrong on that.

I feel fairly confident in saying that Holly will be one of the stars going. The other one is any one’s guess. I think the Steves and Lawrence have too big a fan base to go now, but David and Chuck are awfully far ahead of everyone else, especially Steve Wozniak. Still, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Chuck also in the bottom three. So let’s say it’s Steve Wozniak, Chuck, and Holly with Steve and Holly going home.

But really, I’m just pulling names out of a hat. It could be anyone in the bottom half.

While we wait, I hope you’ll stop by my blog and see what I’ve been up to this weekend.