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Dancing with the Stars: Final Four

The semifinals here, and as usual, there was plenty of drama in store. Would Ralph survive this week’s rehearsals? Will Kym be okay?

And tonight, each couple must perform THREE dances. Three. As in, one more than two. Yikes. That means two individual routines, and a first-ever “Winner Takes All Cha Cha.” So who earned their place in the finals?

Ralph and Karina
Dance: Argentine Tango
Verdict: Ralph had a really shaky week last week, but he’s back in business tonight. He threw himself into the character of this dance and delivered a sultry, powerful routine that showed plenty of technique.
Carrie Ann: “You have got to get the emotion in your face all the way down to your feet.” – 8
Len: “I liked the setup – I thought it was sharp, precise, full of content.” – 9
Bruno: “You were very stern, slightly detached. It was too flat.” – 8

Dance: Salsa
Verdict: Um. Ralph was wearing pants with extra padding in the back, and Karina was wearing the most hideous outfit in the history of DWTS. This routine was stunning, but not in a good way. He tried to be the party guy, and I respect that, but I think the audience was more terrified than entertained. It was kind of like watching the Woz do the worm all over again.
Carrie Ann: “I think it was the most fun I’ve seen you have in this competition.” – 8
Len: “There was no rhythm, it was too wild.” – 7
Bruno: “Are you wearing extra-large diapers?” (Bruno also said something profane and mildly offensive that I won’t repeat.)  – 8

Kirstie and Maks
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Verdict: Kirstie and Maks had a major rehearsal blowup, but they managed to make it work. It was a clean, simple dance, but we’re at that point in that season where you gotta be great or you gotta go home. And I like Kirstie a lot, but I don’t think this was good enough to earn a place in the finals.
Carrie Ann: “You bring us into the full performance.” – 9
Len: “You did well – that was a great dance.” – 9
Bruno: “Like a majestic Flipper riding the waves!” (yes, this is an actual quote) – 9

Dance: Paso Doble
Verdict: Kirstie looked a little lost during parts of this – Maks was more or less dragging her around the floor. In an earlier round, this probably would earn rave reviews, but I just don’t think she’s strong enough for this point in the competition.
Carrie Ann: “You’re the queen of the paso doble.” – 9
Len: “You came out and danced fabulous.” – 9
Bruno: “That was Star Trek XII: The Wrath of Kirstie!” – 9

Chelsea and Mark
Dance: Argentine Tango
Verdict: Mark was kind of nasty in rehearsals, even verging into Maks-territory. Come on, Mark! You’re supposed to be the patient, nice one. And I don’t know if it was strategy, but hoo boy did it pay off. This was a sensational routine full of passionate moments, intense technique, and gorgeous lifts.
Carrie Ann: “I found that to not be up to par. It wasn’t as dynamic as it should have been.” – 9
Len: “It was clean, it was precise, and as always, you produced a first class performance.” – 9
Bruno: “This was like watching Sharon Stone out there. You had Basic Instinct, but it was restrained.” (what?) – 10

Dance: Rumba
Verdict:  The concept of this routine was a little too cheesy-modern-dance for my taste, but she danced it clean. It’s unfortunate, because after the (unfairly) hard criticism of her tango, she needed a “wow” performance. And this was one was just … meh.  She danced it really well – I just hope it’s enough to get her through to next week.
Carrie Ann: “Full range of motion, full passion.” – 10
Len: “Tonight, you have fulfilled your potential.” – 10
Bruno: “It was stunning.” – 10

Hines and Kym
Dance: Argentine Tango
Verdict: The interwebs went crazy late last week when photos surfaced of Kym being taken out of the studio on a stretcher. Kym fell – hard – on her neck while trying to attempt a difficult lift. Thank heavens, she was okay, and still managed to perform. Predictably, this was fabulous. The choreography was creative and slinky, and Hines brought a ton of personality to the dance.
Carrie Ann: “I’m so impressed with the way you partnered her in that routine.” – 10
Len: “THAT is a tango!” – 10
Bruno: “Every emotion was out there for the taking. You never wanted it to end!” – 10

(If there was ever a routine that deserved a perfect score, it was this one.)

Dance: Salsa
Verdict: Hines is unstoppable. That is all.
Carrie Ann: “I can’t even explain how much joy I get when you dance.” – 10
Len: “It was a joyful experience.” – 10
Bruno: “You’re just beautiful, man.” – 10

Winner Takes All Cha Cha

To explain: Two sets of couples battle it out, and the winners of those heats battle each other until one couple is declared the winner. Ralph/Karina faced off against Hines/Kym and lost definitively (duh). Then Chelsea/Mark battled Kirstie/Maks and won definitively (also duh). Then Hines/Kym and Chelsea/Mark duked it out and Chelsea/Mark were declared the winners. Yay!

I think it’s safe to say Hines/Kym and Chelsea/Mark are in – who else will join the finals next week?

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