Solos are coming! Is there anything more that need be said to get your attention? What? Yes? Well, I don’t have anything more. Sorry. That’s the biggest gun this show is willing to dole out what with semifinals yet to come, so you’re just going to have to wait a few weeks to see the circus animals and jousting challenges.
A Hot Trot
Hard-hitting Backstage Reporter Samantha’s hair is fashioned into a huge braided horn lining the right side of her head. I just found that weird enough to mention. But enough about nothing. We hop right into dancing now. So, I don’t know if you know, but this week during their Latin dance, each star will have about 15 seconds of dancing on their own two feet. Cody’s freaking out about it because at heart he is a 12 year old boy. Edyta’s still subbing for Juilanne; as they practice their mambo, she senses his frustration with the state of the game and the pressure of the solo. Then a bunch of Cody’s 12 year old boy friends (Not boyfriends.) (I don’t think.) come in and try to pump up his confidence in that vague way teenagers have; they mumble a bunch of “Dude, you’re gonna kill it,” sentiments. One of the boys dances with Edyta and calls her “hot” before they all wander off in search of Ovaltine and Red Bull. Then Cody and Edyta practice their foxtrot, which is what they’ll be dancing first. Ha.
Foxtrot. “Call Me Irresponsible” is the tune, and that’s one of two things I automatically like about the performance. The other is Edyta’s modest (for Edyta) lavender gown with the waist cut-outs. No way is Cody cool enough to pull of the style portion of the dance, but the routine itself is very slick and smooth, and he handles the arm extensions and spins well, if his footwork is a little dorky. Len starts off saying that he’s going to be a bastard like always, two dances or no. He then goes on to declare himself “pleasantly surprised” by the elegant figure that Cody cut throughout. Bruno says Cody’s almost grown up (this after being told for like 5 consecutive weeks that he’s become a man, but whatever). Carrie Ann loved it too, except for some lift she saw somewhere that will haunt her at night as she dreams feverishly of it coming to beat her about the head and steal all her old videos of herself on In Living Color.
Backstage, Cody’s a new man like he is every week. Then they get triple 8s for a total of 24. They’re pleased, and then Samantha reminds them that it could’ve been 25 but for Carrie Ann’s lift deduction. Oh, Samantha. The day you become a professional broadcaster is the day this show dies.
This Is the Professionalism
Brooke and Derek had a banner week their last time out, with the perfect score on their dance, and then the trouncing they gave Team Susan with their team paso doble. But they’re not the kind to get comfortable, no siree! Derek’s going to really start treating Brooke like a professional since everyone thinks she looks like one anyway. He then goes on to shout “Amateur! Amateur! Amateur!” as she practices all of her moves. Man, if being called an amateur were how professionals really got so good, I’d be a ballroom superstar by now. (See also: piano player, drummer, and seamstress.) But Brooke seems to respond to his criticism well enough not to smack him on camera
And now, they tango. Brooke’s all in sequined red, with one of those split skirts that look like pants when you twirl. The dance is great to watch; everything looks a little perfunctory if you ask me, although that may just be what tango is. The judges all have raves. They hear “stunning, epic drama” from Bruno, “phenomenal” from Carrie Ann, and “dream team” from Len. But then Len declares that he is scrutinizing Brooke a little harder and so he must say he saw them out of sync sometimes and noticed something about heel leads. I don’t know what that means. Once backstage, Brooke and Derek have recovered enough from receiving actual criticism to say that it’s all fine, she’s just trying really hard to live up to the now stratospheric expectations. Eventually they get two 10s from Bruno and Carrie, and an 8 from old Grumpy Knickers.
Dressed Up Like a Million Dollar Trooper
Last week Maurice and Cheryl got a little trambampoline boost between their well-received cha cha and their winning team dance; Maurice wants to keep that upward momentum going with their paso doble and quickstep tonight. They use the footage of last week’s team dance to shape up Mo’s paso skills, and then there’s the quickstep. Mo can’t quite grasp the holds (*ba dump tss*), and when it comes to the runs, he finds he – one of the fastest men in the world – can’t keep up with Cheryl. Why, has the world gone topsy-turvy? Or is dancing the quickstep just really, really hard? The world may never know. But what I can tell you is that once out on the floor Maurice seems much more comfortable in hold, and with the jumps. The runs are okay too. But the real standout is Mo’s maroon ensemble. If it weren’t for the tails, I’d swear it was a leisure suit. I’m in love with it.
The judges on the other hand loved the dance. Carrie Ann compliments Mo on paying attention to the details like head position, and says he really looked refined. Len was delighted by how he flew around the floor, and Bruno congratulates him for keeping the energy up all the way through the dance. Then they too end up with triple 8s, which doesn’t seem to match the raves, but okay.
Lance and Lacey caused a sensation last week when they dared to go barefoot on the ballroom floor! Wow, is there any edge they won’t live on? They’re still struggling with trying to make Len happy while being true to their awesome selves, and I still have trouble caring. They want to go traditional across the board this week to please Len because he always score them lower than the other judges do. He does that for everybody though, so I don’t know why they’re taking it personally.
Lacey thinks Lance puts the “fox” in “foxtrot.” I think their performance puts the “huh?” in foxtrot. ‘Cause it’s weird looking. Maybe it’s the jaz dance affectations they throw in. Or maybe it’s from Lacey sticking her behind out at odd times, I don’t know. They do each have shoes on though, so there’s that. Len, however, liked it bunches. He says it’s like someone did an “extreme makeover” on the two of them, even though Lance’s footwork is still a bit dodgy. Bruno thought their execution was classic, but special. Carrie thinks Lance is a bright light. Hooray, they’re universally approved tonight! Except even after all that begging for approval Len’s score is still lower than the other two: he gives an 8 where the y give 9s.
Secret Agent Man
Warren and Kym are closing out the traditional ballroom round. Last week they bit it with the foxtrot but the team dance saved them. The failure got all in Warren’s head and messed with his confidence for a while, but now he’s trying to get a bit back with the tango and the jive. Big Warren, doing the jive. All right. But we see tango first.
I recognize the song they’re dancing to from a movie or a commercial, but it’s killing me that I don’t know what it is. Oh well. The large-as-a-fist sequins edging Kym’s white gown will have to comfort me. Also, Warren’s black suit is covered in glitter. They know how to play to their strengths. Their tango, by the way, is really fun; Warren is clearly concentrating on getting the steps right, but he gets them right so it’s okay. Bruno says “Watch out James Bond!” Carrie Ann compliments Warren’s connection to the dance and the audience, and his smooth footwork. Len starts by calling this a complete turnaround from last week, but then says they were going up and down a bit much. Tom teases him for always starting with the honey and then throwing the vinegar tonight, and Len kind of shrugs sheepishly. Hmm. Do you think he might not know he’s an old crankpot, after all? Warren and Kym score a 10 from Carrie Ann, and 9s from the boys, for 28. Warren may or may not have tears in his eyes at the sight of that 10.
Mixed Up Mambo
But this is no time for emotions! We’re up to the Latin! And, we’ve already dispensed with the intro clips, so it’s just dancing from here on in. (That sound you just heard was my heart bursting with joy.) Cody and Edyta are back now with their mambo. It’s … odd. I can’t tell if it’s the choreography, but they look disjointed throughout. I think Cody’s on a different rhythm wavelength than Edyta is. For his solo, we basically get a one-armed pushup. Oh, and some pelvic thrusts, and a fist pump. Yeah. Then he jumps on the judges table to smile on the final downbeat. Well, all right!
Carrie Ann gives him an “A” for effort and energy (so maybe that should be an “E,”) but says on the floor they looked messy together. Len says he hopes Warren doesn’t do the same ending. ‘Cause Warren’s great big, you see. But he liked Cody’s mambo overall. Bruno thought he was “spasmodic” in parts, but loves the attitude and energy. Backstage there’s much awkwardness with Samantha asking Cody about his fantasies, and then Cody bribes America to vote for him with the promise of a dancing Julianne next week. Scores: triple 8s, for a two-dance total of 48.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Brooke and Derek mambo now, and Brooke even had a short, sassy wig made for the occasion. She and Derek end up trading solos at the beginning; he shakes his hips, etc. and then she shows off some very sharp footwork and hip swiveling right smack in front of the judges’ table. Then they join up and complete their awesome mambo like they don’t even care that they’re going to win a ballroom dance show, because they love to mambo just that much! Len call their routine “ambitious,” and wishes he could’ve seen Brooke’s feet from where he sat, but he could tell by the hips that her feet were on point. He cautions her not to flex her legs so much though. Bruno says something about waking the dead? I don’t know? Carrie Ann liked the way they handled the solo, but thought that Brooke’s posture suffered a bit from the frenetic pace of the dance. They get triple 9s from the judges, which plus their first dance makes 55.
It’s paso doble time with Mo and Cheryl. During the establishment shot, Mo looks like there’s a fair chance he’ll throw up any second, but then the music starts, and he’s dragging Cheryl across the floor like any old bullfighter. It’s all very dramatic like a paso should be, and there’s a very cool moment where Mo wraps Cheryl in the obligatory cape before releasing her into a spin so he can do his solo, which is: more fancy cape swinging. They regroup and finish to huge applause. I dug it a lot too, audience! Bruno is so affected that he must SHOUT EMOTIONALLY about just how much he loved the cape work. Carrie loved his intensity and the power in his moves, but she wants to see him bring more grace into his traditional moves if he’s here next week. Len approved wholesale, the cape, the intensity, everything. Samantha declares the paso Maurice’s Dance, and then they talk about his bum knee before the scores: triple 8s for 24, plus the 24 from before, making 48.
Controversy Is Edgy
Lance and Lacey drew the samba and so they’re out there in black feathers and stuff to samba. They set the pace with a few box steps before Lacey spins off and Lance breaks out some very non-samba moves, but at least he’s actually dancing in his solo, so high five for that. The rest of their performance is kind of awful; they never really get into the samba groove together and it seems all over the place. Carrie thinks the samba is the hardest dance on the show because of all the style and nuance it requires, and they did well but she wishes Lance wouldn’t look up at the sky so much. Len didn’t see so much samba as he wanted, especially in the solo, and also Lance has pigeon-toes and atrocious footwork. Ouch. Way harsh, Tai. But Bruno disagrees and thinks that Lance owned the audience and loved the samba rolls. The scores reflect the discord: they get an 8 from Carrie Ann, a 7 from a spiteful Len, and a 9 from a defiant Bruno for a combined score of 51.
Warren gives that big dorky wink for good measure before his music starts and he and Kym hit us with their jive. It’s the cutest thing I’ve seen tonight, what with Kym’s pink feathered tutu skirt, and the song which seems to be about a lovely neighbor girl who brings her man coffee in the morning. Well, it’s cuter when you hear it. Anyway, Warren is downright adorable in his solo; his feet and legs are working up a precision storm in his kicks, and then he brings it home with some mighty fine Shorty George-ing. He and Kym finish in style and it’s so obvious that Warren is thrilled with what he’s done. Len loves his joyous energy, but says the footwork sucked. I really disagree. Bruno thinks everyone’s so wrapped up in watching Warren that you can’t really catch the technique, but he agrees with Len that Warren’s feet were a bit flat. Carrie thinks everyone’s paying so much attention to Warren’s feet tonight because of his comfy shoes; she enjoyed his footwork simply because he kept up with all of it. They score 9s from Carrie Ann and Bruno, and an 8 from Len, bringing their total for the night to 54.
We leave tonight with Mo and Cody in the danger zone, tied at 48, and Brooke and Derek owning first place with 55. Results night brings Brad Paisley, Dr. Drew, and a recap from the funny MsFroggy. Two out of three of those things should get you pretty psyched. I’ll leave it to you to determine.