Last week a clear choice was made. Apparently America does not like attractive, young, talented no-name models but prefers to look at sexagenarians with two left feet, covered in 2lbs of pancake makeup sporting “hair” of a color not normally found on humans above the age of 55. Which got me thinking that as much as I want a new HDTV, I believe I'm going to hold out for a while and stick to my existing unit. Not too long, just until Wayne goes back to Vegas. No sense in permanently scarring my eyeballs.
Samantha is still off in baby-land, Drew is back reading the teleprompter, and tonight our remaining F-list nobodies are dancing either the Jive or the Tango. Neither is particularly easy, but with the Tango it's still possible to breathe and move your feet at the same time. I guess we all know what Wayne is “dancing” tonight.
Shake, rattle, roll and repeat.
Sabrina is up first. It seems that she not only wants to dance but she wants to steer the choreography as well. Understandably, Mark is not too happy with this. Oh, drama! Conflict! Not really, but each couple gets 1.5 minutes of filler time and they need to pretend they're butting heads, otherwise the whole rehearsal segment would just be useless time killer. Which, in fact, it is not. I tell you, it is not. Their music is “Shake, rattle and roll” which is actually appropriate for this dance. Do you know how amazing that is? They could have gotten the theme from Titanic or even “Lithium”. I hope they know how lucky they are. While their dance is good, energetic and contains all the vote grabbing brouhaha that Mark could squeeze into one number, namely jumps, slides, splits, twirls and everything else in between, but I find the whole thing a bit too eager to manipulate through sheer athleticism. The audience cheers predictably and Len says that despite some non-Jivey moves such as the back flip and the worm, this was their best dance. Bruno thought it was 110% while Carrie felt the dance suited Sabrina's youthful vibrancy. They get all 9s for a total of 27 points.
A Tango fit for the Disney Channel
Wayne's next victim, er, I mean, Cameron, is determined to break away from mediocrity and rise to the top. Will the dramatic Tango help him this week? Can't say for sure, but if a certain star can take rehearsal on the road, then so can Cameron. He wastes no time and even lunch breaks on the set of his soap opera fall victim to his dedication to learn the Tango and learn it well. Wearing a nice black suit and black rimmed glasses a la Clark Kent (take that Bruno!), Cameron and Edyta start out great for the Tango, dancing to “The beat goes on”. You know, if this were a parody, it would have been great, but I guess they're serious. Their number is not bad but with music like this they could have been Fred and Ginger and it still wouldn't have looked right. Carrie thought that their Tango was G-rated, but insists this was a good thing because, well, she said it was because they went in a different direction. As in the opposite direction from what it was supposed to be. But she liked it, because his posture was better. Len agrees on the posture and the fact that he has a great hold. He missed the slow/attack character of the Tango. Bruno saw excellence and an alpha male. 8-7-8 = 23
Hip to the Jive
After a brief plug for The Bachelor again, we're on to Mark and Kym. The Jive is going to be a challenge for Mark this week because of his hip, which, if dislocated again, could land him back in surgery. Rehearsal is no picnic, and Mark is at times in pain but determined to go on and claw his way up from the bottom two. They start off with Kym sitting on the judges' table, wearing a hot pink dress, and quickly launch into a decent Jive. It seems he is a bit slow to me, “heavy” for lack of a better word, and in places not quite on the music, but Mark's delivery is engaging and he is giving it his all. Bruno said she noticed more control, and execution was cleaner than last week but wants him to be lighter on his feet. Carrie saw that he was awkward and needs to dance more with his feet than with his face. Len liked the choreography and the entertainment factor, but says Mark missed the timing a couple of times. Their scores: 6-7-7 = 20
A pickle of a comeback
After a disastrous slip at the end of last week's routine, Jennie's confidence took a severe blow. She felt deflated and shaky. Derek knows that she will need to find a way to channel her disappointment, siphon off the anger and turn it into passion for the Tango. They have something to prove and Jennie wants to show that she can do it. Their music is real Tango music, Jennie wears a long black dress and a red flower in her hair, looking like she means business and Derek is elegant in a white shirt and double breasted vest. Looks like the won both the music and the looks lottery tonight. Their Tango is crisp, passionate and precise, the kind of stuff you don't want to fast forward. Len is impressed, saying their performance was like a pickle “sharp and tangy” despite some minor breaks in hold, and posture problems. Carrie gives them a standing ovation, saying that they did very well and their moves were difficult and well executed. Bruno terms it the “comeback of the season”. Their Tango was danced with a fury. They earn 9-8-9. A total of 26 points.
Hide your kids, there is some semi-nudity coming up.
Scary loves Ballroom and the Ballroom might just love her right back. However, this week they're jiving the Latin portion of it and Maks feels Mel needs to show more energy and better showmanship if they're to break away from the middle of the pack. Since Maks is choreographing for a Vegas show, this week he is taking Mel to see what she needs to emulate in order to improve. They get to watch a full dress rehearsal and get to practice their Jive in the middle of the show stage, which is a cool looking fountain. Mel is wearing a short, shiny black and white dress for their Jive, which is unremarkable. Maks is not wearing a shirt under his unbuttoned vest. I repeat, Maks is not wearing a shirt. I'd like to comment on Mel's performance but since I didn't exactly watch her, I'd have to just make up something, and maybe that wouldn't been fair to you. Maks, on the other hand, can sure Jive. At least I'm assuming he can Jive. I wasn't exactly paying attention to his dancing either. Ok. It looks like I'm botching up what is supposed to be a faithful account of the events, but I feel I cannot be blamed if I was unfairly distracted by Maks' state of dishabille. Bruno says Mel was a “bouncing bombshell, excitement on legs” and is amazed that she can keep control and hold it together so well. Len declares that Mel “came out with guns blazing” and worked through a difficult bounce section without a problem. Carrie agrees with both of them. This time there is also some backstage funny action with Drew telling Maks that the stage managers are looking for his shirt, which prompts Maks to remove his vest and parade around bare chested. I rewound twice to make sure that I am bringing you a faithful account. Tom replies that “at least they're not looking for his ego”. Their scores are 9 across the board, for a total of 27 points.
When the woman is the man
You'd think that 5s from all judges would constitute a hint to America that Wayne should go back to shaking his bon-bon in Vegas, where fewer people can see him. But no, he is back and admitting to some confusion. Cheryl tells him he needs to perform the Tango this week and sell it. He needs to bring attitude, passion and fire which can be enhanced with props such as a fan. Wayne has a bit of trouble with the fan in rehearsals but since the Tango was started by Argentinian cowboys, Wayne feels some connection to the dance. He's got a ranch back home called, wait for it, Casa de Shenandoah. It's got a huge white gilded double gate, a white house that almost looks like the White House, a big fountain and horses to justify the ranch designation. I've got two guppies at home in a 5 gallon tank, think I should go out and swim with sharks? For their dance, Wayne is wearing a fake mustache, a hat and a ponytail and seems to be channeling Zorro minus the mask. Their music is La Cumparsita, which is real Tango music. Somebody in the music department must have gotten free tickets to Wayne's show. There is some shuffling around with the fan and lots of action from Cheryl, designed to obscure the fact that Wayne is not doing much besides lumbering about with a stiff spine. Carrie loved the look, liked the fact that Wayne stayed in character however wasn't thrilled about Cheryl leading him. Amazingly, no boos from Wayne's fans in the audience about that observation. Bruno felt he put a lot of effort into the costume, but agreed with Carrie that Cheryl led the way. Len thought he got the character right but there wasn't much dancing. Their scores are better than last week, 6 across the board for a total of 18.
Just do it
Floyd has a can do attitude, he knows he can learn and dance and any dance. Karina believes he has great potential and would like to see him do well. Rehearsals for the Jive go pretty smoothly, and it looks as if Floyd is really in his element. Karina feels he's been different all week, he loves the Jive and it might just prove to be their breakout dance. Their music is “Mess around” and they start off with Floyd showing off some impressive skills with a jump rope. From there it's a quick paced dance with some nice precise footwork from Karina, and good theatrics from Floyd. All in all not bad. Len believes Floyd proved he can dance, but cautions against practicing in gym shoes so he can point his toes. Carrie agreed about the energy he displayed, but wanted a bit more structure and details. Bruno feels the potential Floyd has, but wished he'd apply himself more and show more control. His advice is “just do it”. Stuck in the Blackjack zone for the third week in a row, they receive 7s all around for a total of 21 points.
Jane suffered the loss of her beloved mother this week. She was a great fan of the show and was very excited for Jane. Jane traveled home for the funeral with Tony and kept rehearsing so they could dedicate a great dance to her mother's memory. Jane is wearing a sassy short wig, a red and black dress with big ruffles and lots of passion as they dance the Tango to a piece called “Perfidia”. Bruno feels she was like a silent movie queen, with great passion, drama and technique. Len felt that Jane's dance was “haughty and proud” and worthy of pay-per-view. Carrie is moved to tears, saying that “every moment was a beautiful picture”. They receive 9s for a total of 27 points.
Bubbling over with exuberance
Helio is driven to succeed but the Jive is very challenging for him. However he wants to rehearse more and learn more, despite having a weak foot which leads to some mishaps in the studio. Helio pushes himself constantly, testing his body's boundaries. Music selection for tonight has at times been spot on and other times... not so much. “Kids in America” for a Jive? A dubious decision, but Helio and Julianne are making the most of it. They're very energetic and well coordinated. Helio is entertaining to watch and his dedication really shows. It all goes well till the slide across the floor which closes their routine. While it all looks fine, Helio manages to injure his knee, tearing his costume even. He hobbles back to the judges' table with Julianne's aid, clearly in some pain. Carrie loved his contagious fun personality, but cautions him to pay more attention to keeping it together. Bruno appreciates Helio's exuberance and stage presence but wasn't happy with some technical aspects of his performance. Len likes Helio's “sparkling personality” but felt he messed up some of the kick steps. They earn 8s, for a total of 24 points.
No witty title for this section
Jonathan believes the Tango will be a strong dance for Marie because of her flair for the dramatic. Donnie makes his 67th appearance on the show this season, going to the rehearsal studio to... well, not for any reason in particular, probably just because his schedule was wide open and he had nothing better to do. Dressed completely in red, Marie dances the Tango to “Please Mr. Brown”. It's a very sedate Tango, slow and a lumbering. Len liked the musical interpretation and the fun. He thinks she was elegant but needs to lift her ribcage while dancing. Carrie feels she brought Lucille Ball to the dance floor, minus the camp. Bruno thought she is the “Meryl Streep of dance” and felt she never allowed the performance to become campy. I'm not entirely sure why, but their scores are 9-8-9 for a total of 26 points.
Be here tomorrow and find out whether a complete lack of dancing ability can really send somebody home from this show. Sabrina, Mel and Jane are leading the pack while Wayne brings up the rear. Seal will be in the house, as well as a Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. There will be more professional dancing and the good news is that the show will only be 1 hour long. The bad new is that 50 minutes of those will be and absolute, undiluted waste of good air time. I suggest reading MotherSister's recap instead for way more fun.
For the person who sent me 171 M&Ms in the mail last week, I thank you. Can you please send a bottle of whiskey this time. Thanks!