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Dancing with the Stars: Born in the USA

It’s the first-ever American Week on DWTS, but more importantly, it’s the halfway point in the season. No clear leader. A different star on top every week. No Derek Hough for the judges to fawn over. Things are getting serious, y’all.

So what does “American Week” mean? Mostly, it means dressing like you walked out of a nightmare version of Liberty Square and dancing to songs that salute our nation.

Whose mountains were majestic? Whose amber waves were all kinds of grainy? Did any of these dances make you proud to be an American?

Ralph and Karina
Dance: Samba
Verdict: You know what’s a great samba song? Sweet Home Alabama. Removing the song from the picture, this was still a weird mess. I love Ralph, but he looked like a total dork here. It’s all very charming, but this was like a little boy’s line dancing recital, complete with goofy grin.
Carrie Ann: “I think that was a great entertaining performance.” – 8
Len: “I’m not saying this was terrible, but you’re not consistent.” – 7
Bruno: “We’re talking about a samba – it needs fire down below.” – 7

Chris and Cheryl
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Verdict: Dancing to The Star Spangled Banner is a … bombastic situation, but Chris did a really good job here. He looked every bit the gentleman, with great movement around the floor and a nice sense of grace and flow.
Carrie Ann: “I feel like we’ve underestimated you.” – 9
Len: “It was a little bit flat-footed. You’ll get an eight when you deserve an eight.” – 8
Bruno: “Strong, yet elegant. Absolutely wonderful.” – 9

Petra and Dmitry
Dance: Quickstep
Verdict: Okay, so truth time: the quickstep is not Petra’s dance. It wasn’t bad, but she looked kind of clunky and awkward and stampy for the first half of the routine. That said, she still looked gorgeous and should make it through to next week.
Carrie Ann: “I felt like you took a bit of a step back.” – 7
Len: “It was a very fast dance, and I think you coped very well.”- 7
Bruno: “You were like the golden goddess of sin.” – 8

Romeo and Chelsie
Dance: Foxtrot
Verdict: Glamour? Check. Grace? Meh. This was a fun foxtrot in a campy Broadway sort of way, but it wasn’t very polished. Romeo needs to work on finishing his arm extensions and not jumping ahead of the music.
Carrie Ann: “That was so cool – I’ve never seen anybody approach the ballroom the way you have.” – 9
Len: “There are still bits and pieces I’m not happy with, but I think you’re on the right road.” – 8
Bruno: “I’ve never seen a foxtrot so cheeky.” – 9

Hines and Kym
Dance: Rumba
Verdict: Hmm. I’m conflicted on this one. His technique was lovely, but this dance was missing the passionate connection that you need in order to make a rumba soar. He’s still such a fan favorite that I doubt he’ll be in jeopardy, but I think he’s had much more successful dances.
Carrie Ann: “You make it look so easy.” – 9
Len: “There’s a naturalness about it – that’s your best dance.” – 9
Bruno: “An officer and a gentleman!” – 9

Kirstie and Maks
Dance: Foxtrot
Verdict: Well, her shoes stayed on. And she stayed upright. And she had coaching from John Travolta (most random DWTS cameo ever, yes?). But you know how every time you watch this show you’re waiting for someone to just KILL IT? This was that dance … for the first few counts of eight. All the “messing about” and shirt-ripping and hair tossing – fabulous. The foxtrot? Not so much.
Carrie Ann: “That was a different take on a foxtrot, but it absolutely suited you. I think it was your best dance ever.” – 8
Len: “It had attitude, but the overall feeling for me – it wasn’t my cup of tea.” – 7
Bruno: “Oh, the American woman and the Russian gigolo.” – 8

Kendra and Louis
Dance: Foxtrot
Verdict: Breaking news! This was the 1000th dance on DWTS. One thousandth. Good Lord. And it was to Yankee Doodle Dandy, which seems oddly fitting … in that it’s the hammiest song in existence. And this dance was a ham-fisted, all-American cheesefest worthy of the Wisconsin State Fair. I have a hard time seeing this one resonate with the voters.
Carrie Ann: “This is the most confident I’ve ever seen you.” – 8
Len: “It was entertaining. Well done.” – 7
Bruno: “Sweet as apple pie, and much more in character.” – 7

Chelsea and Mark
Dance: Samba
Verdict: How do you follow up Yankee Doodle Dandy? With Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, of course. And like the song, this was a fun, infectious routine. It wasn’t Chelsea’s best routine, but it was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
Carrie Ann: “You guys dance so well together. This was fantastic.” – 9
Len: “This was a party – and I’m not talking a Tupperware party” – 8
Bruno: “You’re so clean, you’re a really really good dancer.” – 9

Eesh, you guys. Who’s going to go home tomorrow? Maybe Kendra and Colonel Sanders? What do you think?

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