Finally we're down to five couples on Dancing, four of whom can actually dance. It seems as if I used this exact same phrase last season right about this time when a certain mawkish doll designer was crawling like a cockroach you couldn't kill all over my TV screen, but it looks like it's appropriate again. Happens every year in fact and I'm glad for it. After all, who wants to write, or read about, accounts of boring perfection and success when there are tales of hair raising mediocrity and downright annoyance to tell? With two dances apiece and pesky lifts finally sanctioned by the judges, our remaining third rate celebs are all trying to sashay into the semi-finals. Tom and Jerry, er, Samantha announce that one legal lift per dance is acceptable tonight, though not required, and it must be in the character of the dance. Who will get one step closer to the cheesy mirror ball trophy and who will be thrown out with the bathwater come elimination night? Read on.
Knocked off from her winning perch last week, Kristi now oddly needs a comeback. A Quickstep and a Samba are all that stand between her and the lead this week and Kristi wants to maximize their chances by doing lifts. Mark thinks lifts are inappropriate for the Samba and opts for a lift during the Quickstep instead. Kristi just hopes that it won't backfire. Their first dance is the Quickstep and they are off to a great start with elegant costumes in shimmering blue for Kristi and a black suit for Mark. Their footwork is precise and smooth flowing and the dance is enjoyable although some of the quick turns are a bit shaky on the timing. They end with a very sedate lift in which Mark simply seats Kristi on his right shoulder. Len was cheered by the routine while all the back and forth in their dance pleased him. Bruno loved the detail, the subtlety and the flow. He declares it their ticket to the finals. Carrie liked the character and the fact that they danced for the judges. She did see a part where they were out of sync. They earn 9-10-10 for a total of 29 points.
Kristi, stop trampling on my toes!
Mario and Karina are next and they have a Jive and Viennese Waltz to contend with this week. Mario is anxious to put last week's lack of stiffness behind him, and he is eager to rehearse lifts, even though they're a risk. Grasping a great opportunity to show off buff bodies in skimpy bathing suits, they practice their lifts in a pool with mixed results. Karina is also eager to stiffen up Mario for the Waltz and please Len. Dancing to an Alicia Keys song, they glide nicely around and Mario is stiffer but perhaps not in the best way. Their lift however is lovely and smooth. Bruno says Prince Mario was polished and distinguished. Carrie thought it was “nice and stiff”, elegant and the lift was very complimentary to their routine. Len talks about Mario's sometimes inelegant moves drawing loud boos from the audience, but then goes on to say that this dance was very elegant and they did a good job. Their scores 9-9-9 for a total of 27 points.
Damn, they said your dress was going to be see through. Bummer...
Annoyingly perky Marissa is next. She complains about ending up in the bottom two despite
unjustifiablyhigh marks from the judges and then yaps excitedly about being thisclose to the final three. With a Foxtrot and a Mambo on their plate, Marissa wants to do what she can to advance. Tony even decides to incorporate a very slight, sedate lift into their routine tho show that she can do it. Their first attempt tonight is the Foxtrot set to New York, New York. Tony looks dashing in sharp tails but Marissa's dowdy ankle length grayish disaster of a dress could pass for a 70 year old grandmother's best Sunday churchgoing outfit. I find their choreography simplistic, unrefined and halting. Marissa lumbers around and their pacing is painfully slow. The lift is nothing to write home about, more like something you'd see in a junior high production. Carrie loved it, which makes me think she was asleep during their routine. Len thinks Marissa looks better when she's in hold. Bruno thought there wasn't enough gliding and their dance was sub par for the quarter finals. Their scores 9-8-8 for a total of 25 points.
You're slipping, slipping... I'm dropping you!
Jason and Edyta need a good Tango and Samba to maintain their lead from last week. They're both happy to be finally allowed to do lifts and Jason feels the lifts will give them an edge this week. Those might not be a problem, however letting go for the Samba and not looking silly is a concern for Jason. Edyta helps him by trotting out a wig, shirt and maracas for him to wear in the studio and a surprising spray tan session. Jason thinks it would be wasted on him but Edyta thinks the tan turned him into a dancer. Starting out with their Tango, they're dressed in black. Their holds are good, Jason is in character and technically their dance is strong and although their lift is spectacular, it seems to me slightly out of character for the Tango. Len gripes that it was more of an Argentine Tango then a Ballroom one. Bruno is indignant and calls his assessment boring. He thinks they were sexy and beautiful and feels this Edyta's best dance to date, on all the season. Carrie thought it was “fantastic and intriguingly great”. Their scores are 10-9-10 for a total of 29 points.
Jason, I think I forgot to put on my underwear...
Burdened with a painful ruptured tendon in his left arm that his doctor would like to operate on, Cristian is now handicapped in the ballroom. He can hold frame with his left arm, but anything more is too painful. Cheryl needs to work around it and even come up with lifts that Cristian is determined to do. Their first dance is the Tango, oddly set to Beat It. Wearing all white with a few black accents they look fierce and determined. While their Tango is enjoyable, their lift clever considering Cristian's injury, they're slow, too slow even for the Tango. The audience gives them a standing ovation and Bruno claims that they will judge the dance without accounting for the injury. He saw no problems, thought it was arrogant and convincing. Carrie echoes Bruno and Len commends Cheryl for a clever choreography. They earn 10-9-9 for a total of 28 points.
Is my arm supposed to do that?
After the Ballroom round, Kristi and Mark and Jason and Edyta are tied with 29 points in first place while Marissa and Tony have sunk to the bottom with 25 points.
Kristi and Mark are up first with the Samba. Dressed in a hideous canary yellow and red outfit with a feathery headpiece, Kristi looks odd and while their routine is not precisely bad, it's not great either. A weird sit spin type move at the end gives their dance a figure skating vibe that I'm not sure they needed for a Samba. Carrie is left a bit speechless and then says she didn't care for it. She felt it was awkward and maybe too ambitious. Len agrees somewhat; he feels that all the extravagant moves detracted from the overall feel and rhythm of the dance. Bruno liked the spins and the technical side of their routine. They earn 8-9-9, 26 points for a grand total of 55 points.
Do you think it was a good idea to wear a fake hump under this shirt?
Mario and Karina are next with the Jive set to Little bitty pretty one. They have great energy and Mario sems to be in his element with this dance but I detect some awkwardness in places. The final lift is quite good but somewhat less smooth than desirable. Len felt it was rough, lacked technique and footwork. Bruno enjoyed their fast delivery and energy. Carrie liked Mario's flavor and energy although she noted the flexed feet. Their scores are 9-8-9 for a total of 26 and a grand total of 53 points.
Wearing a fiery red beaded too-short dress with an asymmetrical hem that is not doing her any favors, Marissa matches Tony's red outfit. While the outfits are not that great, the dance leaves lots more to be desired. From the easy one-two-thee footwork, to the slow, uninspired delivery, to the silly looking turns at the end that recalled Kristi's figure skating spin but with less grace, finesse and of an inferior technical quality, I felt their dance belonged on night one of competition and not in the quarter finals. Bruno loved it, Carrie liked it but thought she messed up the turns. Len thought it was too dainty and careful. They earn 8-8-9 for a total of 25 points for a total of 50 points.
You really are short, Marissa...
Jason and Edyta launch into their Samba routine kicking up the heat right away. Jason does an acceptable job, a bit on the clunky side, but the heavy lifting, as is always the case with Latin dances, is left up to Edyta. Their final lift is daring and they pull it off, albeit with a bit of a wobble. Carrie didn't quite like it, feeling it was lagging and not quite there. Len thought it was “all right”, lacked rhythm and felt it was uncomfortable. Bruno agrees and notes that they even lapsed into a Rumba at times. Their scores are 8-7-8 for a total of 23 points, bringing them to a grand total of 52 points.
Last but not least, Cristian and Cheryl are up with the Mambo. Cheryl is wearing a ruffled gold dress that makes her sparkle next to a bare-chested Cristian who is also wearing a sparkling cover over his bandages. Cristian's injury is more apparent as he can't do any arm movements on the left side, which distracts a bit, however Cheryl makes up for it and they end the routine with a simple but effective looking lift. Len thought it was full of energy and they did a fabulous job. Bruno says they had more energy than a volcano in the Andes. Carrie thought they were on fire. They earn 10-9-10 for a total of 29 points, for a combined total of 57 points.
Meet me backstage, sweetheart, I'll show you my bandages.
After both dances, Cristian and Cheryl are in the lead with 57 points and Marissa and Tony are trailing with 50 points. Following Dancing's big 100th show night celebration, somebody will be kicked to the curb again and four celebs will be left to duke it out in the semi-finals. Read all about it in lildago's funny recap. See me next week for another 469 minutes of pure unadulterated filler and some dancing.