Last week Adam Carolla got the boot after a performance worthy of a circus sideshow, leaving behind a field populated with slightly more nimble F-listers, somewhat more surefooted has-beens and downright sprightly sexagenarian tabloid fodder. All in all, Tom says that eight more of them are still left in the competition, which I don't understand. Did ABC cruelly slip a couple more celebs into the lineup while I wasn't looking? Bastards. This week, somebody else will get kicked to the curb but before we can get to the fun part, the remaining eight dim stars will dance either the Samba or the Rumba for a full 387 minutes and 29 seconds. Which near-celeb will burn up the floor and which will fail to sizzle? Take a double dose of your pain meds and let's get started.
Who are all these people?
Tom claims that this is the halfway point in the competition. Last week he said it was a crucial week. I'm guessing next week will be pivotal. Samantha agrees, but then, she'd agree to anything that was on her teleprompter. I'd like to see them dance the Jive one time. Wearing nothing but a pound of sequins and beaded fig leaves. That move should free up the 7PM CST time slot quite nicely... ABC bigwigs looking to gracefully retire the show before Donny Osmond schmoozes his slimy self onto the dance floor, should give me a call.
Canary in a tisket
First up are Mario and Karina. After a flat Paso Doble last week, Mario needs a change. The judges expect a lot, he says, and he wants to give it to them. But going is tough and poor Mario needs a little inspiration in the form of a trip to a morning radio show with Stevie Wonder. I usually just have another cup of coffee and I'm good, but to each his own. Stevie dispenses some advice for Mario to follow the “incredibleness” of his singing. Or maybe he said something else, but I admit I'm cruel enough to fast forward even through Stevie Wonder. Their music is A Tisket, A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald and Karina is wearing a fluffy canary yellow outfit that's got more ruffles and sequins than actual fabric. The music is weird, decidedly not Samba-ish, but their moves are pretty good. Mario seems to be in his element, doing the Samba gyrations with flourish and Karina is her usual, precise self. After a standing ovation from the audience, Len thought the dance suited Mario. He wants more footwork, but says it was their best dance. Bruno wishes Mario's hips could talk then says it was a vigorous, classic Samba. Carrie liked that it was a nice, clean dance and something about Marios smooth spirit. Their scores reflect the judges' raves, 9-9-9 for a total of 27 points.
Will Priscilla be forever haunted by that illegal lift during the Waltz? That remains to be seen. This week they've got the Rumba to contend with and things are more about hips, smoldering looks and more hips. Rehearsal is a bit tense between Louis the perfectionist and Priscilla's difficulties with the steps. Her frustration is apparent. Dressed in what looks like a black sequined mesh cocktail dress and dancing to a Roberta Flack classic, Priscilla looks if not quite comfortable at least giving a fair impression of it. Right off the bat, she does a split and makes me really, really upset that I've been slacking off at the whole Pilates thing. I'm going to the gym first thing tomorrow! From there it's somewhere downhill. Priscilla needs a lot of direction and she is wobbly on her legs for a good part of the routine. She breathes a sigh of relief at the end of it. Bruno saw the faults that the slow Rumba exposed, Carrie noticed less flow and too much deliberation. Len was disappointed with all the heel leads and the lack of spontaneity. They all 7s for a total of 21 points.
Shaken and stirred
Miraculously after the Halloween milkmaid costume, Marissa survived to see another week of competition, although with the Samba on their plate things are getting much more serious. Hip and butt shaking is apparently not one of Marissa's talents and even Tony's dedicated instruction can't quite get her butt to where it needs to be. He prescribes home practice in front of the TV with Brazilian carnival props, which was probably just an excuse to show Marissa wearing a full carnival headpiece for some odd reason. They practice with the headpiece in the studio too and make some headway. Finally on the ballroom floor, they launch into a routine set to [i]Samba Tambourine[/b] and Marissa appears to have gotten lucky in the wardrobe department as well. Wearing a blue and purple sequined number that's a bit more Betty Rubble than Samba vixen but at least has no milkmaid in it, she looks reasonably the part. It's an energetic routine, their most lively so far, with a fair degree of difficulty thrown in. Carrie thought it was their best so far. Len liked the choreography and all the bounce and Bruno says they had more shakes than a cocktail bar. They get all 8s for a total of 24 points.
Where the hell did it go??
Cristian bullied his way to a personal best last week, but shooting to the top means raised expectations. He claims that dancing is finally in his veins. The Rumba may prove a tough test for his newfound confidence as Cheryl declares that his moves are not manly enough. Cristian admits having trouble being macho, sensitive and seductive at the same time. The solution? Cheryl suggests he imagine seducing her in a movie, even though they have a brother-sister kind of relationship. Okay, that came out wrong but Cristian does his best to visualize his best bud Cheryl being moved by his suave Latin lines. It's all a bit cheesy but, hey, good filler needs to be at least, well, filling. With faith in his acting abilities, Cristian stalks toward Cheryl on the floor and they launch into a reasonable Rumba in which Cheryl works and Cristian mostly moves around a bit. Len calls it competent but at least not gruesome. Bruno liked the chemistry but found his Rumba walk lacking. Carrie didn't feel the chemistry and it wasn't erotic enough for her. Their scores: 7-8-8 for a total of 23 points.
I'm sorry! I know you said you didn't want your hair touching the floor.
Four more to go but I can see an end somewhere around two dozen commercials and about as many annoying quips from Tom down the line. I'm convinced that Dancing just can't afford a decent editor willing to actually cut something out. Can I volunteer for this job? I promise to slice the whole thing down to a trim and healthy thirty minutes. No? Well, at least I tried.
Buoyed by a good performance, Marlee wants to inspire deaf children to dance. So she and Fabian fly off to Mexico to deliver hearing aids to hearing impaired children. This is a nice episode and a good break but the Samba awaits back home. While all dances are difficult, the Samba is especially so as it's very rhythmic and technical. Marlee has trouble grasping the Samba and their difficulties with communication make for a tense and frustrating week of rehearsal. Clad mostly in red fringe the two Samba decently with lots of life but some technical difficulties. Bruno calls it sexy and hot, and while appreciative of her achievement, he saw some loss of rhythm in places. Carrie noticed the stumbled but saw that Marlee did not give up. Len thinks that despite the problems he saw she did a great job, especially since she can't hear any of the music. They earn 7-7-8 for a total of 22 points.
Is the floor supposed to be on the ceiling like that?
This is no tragedy
With scores of 10 under her belt, Kristi may lead the way but can't relax. Mark explains to her that the Rumba is a very steamy dance which makes Kristi a bit uncomfortable. In order to overcome her shyness and unease, she proposes a bit or role play. No, not that kind! What do you think this is [i]Dancing: The Adult Version[/b]? She wants Mark to be Marcutio and she'll be Christiana. Marcutio sort of reminds me or Mercutio, but he got skewered by Tybalt in Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet. Probably not a good comparison unless Kristi does something even more out of character to liven things up on show night. But before she can skewer anybody, Mark, I mean, Marcutio arranges for her family to visit the studio and take away from their precious rehearsal time. Hubby or no hubby in the studio, she decides to not hold back and just go for it this week. Dressed in elegant levander outfits they launch into their routine set to Rumba Say and right off the bat it's apparent that they have this character thing down because there is no hesitation and their dance is at once steamy and classy. Carrie appreciates the risk she took and the emotion even at the expense of some moves. Len calls is fa-bu-lous and Bruno dubs her Kristi Yamilichious. All righty then. They garner 9-10-10 for a total of 29 points, maintaining last week's level.
Too square to be hip
Anointed with Len's only 10 score last week, Shannon was delighted. She claims that a lack of hips has long prevented her from shaking what's supposedly not there which is why we see a fairly clumsy Shannon “struggling” in the studio. Sure. She is uncomfortable shaking her rump for the Samba despite their friendship and closeness. Looking a bit like a Brazilian gypsy, in a fiery ruffled orange outfit that matches Derek's shirt, they start off promisingly to the immortal tunes of a Rihanna song. Derek shakes it well but Shannon displays some awkwardness and they lack the necessary speed to pull off a good Samba. Len feels it wasn't good enough, lacked hip action and even the Samba walk wasn't quite there. Bruno thinks she should have shook it more and saw missed turns. Carrie noted awkward moments as well. Their scores are 8-8-7 for a total of 23.
Whoa! Watch that thigh, Shannon!
Not a moment too soon, we finally arrive at the last dance of the night. Jason has good reason to feel confident after last week's success, but now he wants to climb from 29 to 30. Ambition is all good and well, but they have the Rumba to dance this week which is no Waltz. They practice some moves that Jason finds outlandish, but Edyta assures him that he can trust her. She believes that if he has confidence in his abilities he can be a great dancer. The last performance of the night is set to You're all I need to get by and in beige and off-white outfits Jason looks solid while Edyta looks sexy. They present a pleasant Rumba, pull of the big showy moves and inspire a lot of audience appreciation. Bruno thought Jason had the look of a love god. He liked the lines and hip action. Carrie saw insane chemistry on the dance floor between them but comments on Jason's long arms sometimes being aimless. Len liked their “naturalness” but he had a gripe with the big moves Edyta was making while Jason stood around. Nevertheless, they receive all 9s for a total of 27 points.
After 531 solid minutes and what seems like an eternity filled with filler, the show is at a blessed end at last. Leading the pack are Krsiti and Mark with 29 points, while Priscilla and Louis are flirting with elimination at the bottom of the scoreboard with 21 points. Who will be dispatched back into oblivion? Will the show ever get shorter? I can only answer that last question with a firm negative. Sigh.
Should Dancing add on another hour to the show, maybe even stretch it to four solid hours of nothing? Please PM ABC with your impassioned request for more of the same.