Whew. This week’s performance show was action packed! Okay, action-tinged, at least. There were wardrobe malfunctions, returning pros, falls from grace, and master classes. Tom promises that the results will be as, if not more, exciting! Everyone in the world is here to sing for you tonight. And, we’re on the verge of wrapping it up -- after these results, only three couples will remain in the game, so I’m sure the intensity factor will be spinning out of control. I can even finally see that glorious mirror ball looming on the horizon. Shiny!
A Flying Start
There’s a minimum of host chatter at the top of the show; instead, we’re moving straight away into the filler, because Aretha the Queen of Soul herself has deigned to appear here tonight. She sings “Chain of Fools” (a karaoke favorite of mine) all decked out in a gold-embroidered purple tunic that’s also dripping with gold, and if that doesn’t say “I am royalty” to you then you just aren’t listening. This is the best I’ve seen Ms. Aretha looking in a while, and as she sings, no less than Louis, Anna T., Karina, and some other guy whirl out like dervishes in yard of electric blue satin and fringe to cha cha along with her, and I don’t know what more I could ask for.
And! The gifts keep on coming: I get to skip right over this pointless recap, because the ever snarky MsFroggy has already wrapped that up for us with a bow on top.
Slyness and the Family Stone
Leona Lewis is apparently some sort of sensation; Samantha can’t say enough about how much she rules, and it all ends up making sense because now she’s here to sing. She does that very prettily while Karina returns with Maks to dance an extremely sultry rumba. Tom raises his eyebrows afterward and says Karina and Maks should date. Clever, sir. Very clever.
Then the rankings: L&L are far and away in the lead with 57, and everyone else is floundering around in the high forties. The judges talk about the features of each star that could get them into the finals. Len says that Cody’s effort and enthusiasm could save him, plus his cuteness. Bruno thinks Lance’s freshness is a hit. Carrie Ann calls out Warren’s charm, and Len gets to mention Brooke’s overall awesomeness.
After commercials, we remember that Julianne’s also a country music ingenue. She’s on the singer’s platform singing her “Hallelujah Song,” I’m assuming is the name of it. All of a sudden Derek and Mark appear and he joins them on the dance floor for a few steps. It’s a family reunion! All we’re missing is Corky. Although “missing” might not be the proper word. Julianne goes back to the stage to sing, and Lacey swirls out to finish the dancing with the boys. Then there’s a very joyful ovation because Julianne can do everything, and that should be applauded.
A Kinder, Gentler Filler
Hard-hitting Backstage Reporter Samantha is on now, asking all the stars how they feel about last night. Hint: they’re all nervous. Warren says he didn’t sleep a wink last night, and then we cut back to Tom who says, “It wasn’t because of the nerves.” Rowr.
So we’ve already had Aretha, Leona Lewis, and Julianne. But look: John Legend’s here also. Wow, Dancing with the Stars. If one didn’t know better, one would almost think you were running out of ideas for corny filler packages. Not to say that’d be a bad thing. Anyway, John Legend sings that one “Green Light” song from his “hit” album, and they try to make up for a pronounced lack of Andre 3000 with a set piece that looks like the remains of a crown roast, and a bunch of dancers in their street clothes doing some kind of blended dance smoothie consisting of the whop, that Hey Ya dance, and the electric slide.
Now, to prove that they’re not yet out of filler ideas, family members of our last four stars are on video saying nice things about them. Warren Sapp always makes his adorable mother want to get up and dance with him. I smell spin-off! It couldn’t be any worse than Dance War, could it? Cody’s bubbly mom can’t help but smile when she sees her own son on the floor. Brooke’s fiancé is falling in love with her all over again. Lance’s war hero grand-daddy is fit to bust his buttons with pride when he sees his grandson dancing. They all watch the show, and come sit in the audience to support their people and tell them they love them. Lance’s grandpop is a dedicated voter on both land and cell lines, and Warren’s ma has a phone bank set up at her senior center. That explains a lot! It hurts them all to see the criticism and they cry salty tears when their loved ones are sad, but they’re willing to do everything they can to keep their folks in the game.
And now Aretha’s back! Jam-packed with the music, this evening is. This time she sings “Respect,” while reigning DWTS champs Mark and Kristi come out to show us that Kristi can still dance. Aretha does some call and response on the R-E-S-P-E-C-T section, and then Mark and Kristi finish with a super-flamboyant lift. It’s okay; Carrie Ann can’t hurt them now.
The Bell Tolls
Since we’re down to “The Final Four,” we have to watch all the stars flailing around an old, smoky warehouse looking like extras from Sin City while they talk about themselves as tough competition. For the 300th time this season. Brooke’s unbeatable, except if Warren does a backflip. Lance is full of presence and charisma, and he’s on a steady rise in ability. Warren’s got the smile that can’t be stopped. Cody’s a baby and will distract everyone with his youth. Then they talk smack. For the 300th time this season.
We haven’t had a whiff of results news so far, and I haven’t even noticed, but we’ve got somewhere around 5 minutes left, and if they know what’s good for them no way will this show cut into my Eli Stone, so here we are. There’ll be no bottom two this week, just a one-by-one announcement of who’s in and who’s out. First in are Lance and Lacey, which should shock no one. Their scores were so far ahead of the pack that not even all the might of Mama Sapp’s senior brigade could catch up. Brooke and Derek are in as well, which is another duh.
We break for Samantha to try and pry some tension or competitive edge out of the two already-safe couples backstage, but they only do that for filler packages. Back from commercials, it takes about half a second for Tom to reveal that Cody and Julianne are done. Aww. Cody almost instantly slaps on a smile, but it’s clear he’s disappointed. Then he says this show has been an amazing journey (drink?), and that he loves Julianne and is thankful and amazed by everything and everyone. Aww. He’s so young. Then they play a retrospective of his time with Julianne and then Edyta, warm strings play in the background, and I think the producers really, really want you to shed a tear at some point, so you know. Try to oblige them if you can. Meanwhile, Cody and Julianne dance out by shaking their behinds in defiance of the wimpy piano ballad that the band offers up. Ha. That’s the way to go, kids. That’s the way to go.
So we’re almost to the finish line, y’all. Next week is the finale. It brings with it the beloved freestyle round! Plus the results show, which will feature the return of all the stars we’ve loved before, and the ones we forgot were even ever here, like whoever got the axe first. I know you won’t want to miss it anyway, but in case you were waffling here’s an extra enticement: I 100% absolutely up and down guarantee there will be no wind-up doll dance.
Do you remember the first star eliminated this season? Clue me in.