Before we get started this week, I have a confession to make. While I do watch this show, I generally do so with the mute on for about half of the show. No, it’s not Tom Bergeron’s annoying yapper (okay, that’s part of it), it’s that music. Michael Jackson for the Paso Doble? It’s bad enough without the cheesy cover versions. The good news? The house band has a sahweeet gig lined up with Princess Cruise Lines when Dancing with the Stars wraps up! Anyhoo, recapping the show presents a unique challenge for me – sort of like Fear Factor, without the mud and live cockroaches. Pray for me. I’m going in!
Last week, Stacy shook her atomic booty (in safety orange, no less!) and mesmerized the judges into giving her a perfect score. We also saw a relieved Tia Carrere go home and a desperate Drew Lachey make the decision to go minimal on his wardrobe for the next round. While I think Drew is cute as a button, I do not want to see him sporting a rubber band and a peanut shell. I doubt that would be comfortable for him either. It would probably chafe.
Nagging Questions and Some Sucking Up
This week, we’re down to the final five pairs. Can Stacy Keibler keep up the perfect performances? Will Drew be able to finally get that perfect score? Can Jerry get some respect from the judges? How is George maintaining that tan is he’s inside practicing all the time (allegedly)? Is Lisa’s center of gravity thrown off by the weight of her lips? These are just a few of my questions. Let’s see if any of them get answered, shall we?
The show opens and the pairs are introduced. Stacy is wearing a very short, black trench coat and I can’t help wondering what that coat is trying to hide. My guess: not much. Tom Bergeron then introduces the band and calls them “The best band in the business” (*gag*). Last week, all of the pairs danced the same dance: the Samba. This week, each couple will be performing a different dance. We’ll also be getting another group dance as they all will perform the Viennese Waltz.
Before the pairs perform, the pros show us how each dance is supposed to look (ouch). Poor Ashley’s been paroled from being Master P’s partner and she performs the Jive with Louis. It’s like a moment of liberation for her since she doesn’t have to dance like the Bride of Frankenstein anymore. Jonathan and Anna perform the Tango, Maksim and Edyta perform the Rumba to “My Heart Will Go On” ….. seriously, I should be getting hazardous duty pay for this. ….I fast forward to Tony and Cheryl performing the Paso Doble. Finally, we see Nick and Andrea perform the Quickstep. I know, I said “Who?” as well. Nick partnered with Tatum O’Neal and Andrea was Kenny Mayne’s partner. It’s been weeks since we’ve seen either of them. The pros are clearly a thousand times better (<----- rough estimate) than the celebs and you can see why the pros got ticked off at Carrie’s Ann’s comment last week about Stacy being as good as some of the professional dancers.
Change for a Dollar
Jerry’s just not getting the respect from the judges and he is not happy. He’s going to keep working hard and not worry about the judges. To that end, Jerry’s off to the Super Bowl! Maybe a little love from his fans will help boost his bruised ego. Anna’s along for the ride and now she’s not happy. It’s all about football and she’s over it. They get to the hotel and find the ballroom so they can practice.
This week, Jerry and Anna will be performing the Paso Doble. She tells us that Jerry will need to work on being more aggressive and proud to pull it off. Apparently, squeezing a quarter between his butt cheeks is supposed to help him with this. Or, you know, if he needs spare change, that’s handy. Anna says that’s Jerry needs to get angry. He practices holding a table cloth like a matador’s cape. He’s clearly trying really hard but, at times, he still looks like a big football player clomping around.
Because their dance is the Paso Doble, Jerry and Anna dance to actual bull fighter-y music. With no vocals. I’m shocked. Jerry seems to have the attitude part down, but the coordination thing, not so much. He’s enthusiastic, I’ll give him that.
Len: With the Paso Doble, the guy is trying to create the mood of the bullfight: strong and arrogant. You got right into the character. Next week is the semis and you’ll have to up your game. There was nothing this week to make me want to jump up and down.
Bruno: At the beginning you were like Moses parting the Red Sea (*Um, yeah. Thanks, Captain Overstatement*). Simple, but effective. You stumbled a bit but overall, it was very good.
Carrie Ann: Finally! That was fantastic. I could feel your energy. A few little stumbles but, overall, very impressive.
Last week, Drew was bummed out over only getting 9’s for the Samba. It seems Drew’s short neck makes it look like he’s hunching his shoulders. Cheryl tries to work on this and, in no time, they work out that he simply has to pull his shoulders back. Problem solved. Cheryl calls it a real breakthrough. Since Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, Drew’s hoping to get some time off to watch the big game. Cheryl’s not having any of it. Finally, Drew’s wife Lea and his brother Nick show up at the rehearsal space in an attempt to extract Drew. Cheryl tells them that Drew can’t leave until he gets the step down. Lea and Nick sit on the sidelines and Nick proceeds to heckle Drew and Cheryl and tells Lea that “Our family name is ruined.” You know Nick, I I have one word for you: Newlyweds. Glass houses, baby. Cheryl is finally satisfied with Drew’s progress and lets Nick carry Drew off to watch the Super Bowl.
Drew and Cheryl dance the Tango to “Shut Up” (yes, that song by the Black Eyed Peas) and you know what? This show is actually better with the sound off. That music kills it for me. Drew’s holding his shoulders back and they look great. He’s really a natural at this stuff. He’s even pointing his toes. They make it work in spite of the music.
Len: You commanded that dance. This was your best performance to date.
Bruno: The tango is the most dramatic, passionate and emotional of all ballroom dances. You did everything fantastically
Carrie Ann: They’re both right. It was great! You nailed it!
Total Score: 30
Drew is elated to have finally gotten his perfect 10’s.
Could Someone Light a Match?
George score big last week after he got rid of the gimmicky props. This week, he’s going to focus on his technique for the Rumba. He thinks that the Rumba can be a little feminine, so they bring in Alec Mazo (Kelly Monaco’s partner from last season) to help George. Alec dances with Edyta as George shadows him and tries to mirror his movements. It may or may not have been helpful, but I don’t care. Getting to see a few minutes of Alec made it all worth it. He’s pretty.
George and Edyta begin their routine with Edyta sitting at a table in the audience and George pretending to be a waiter. Still working the gimmicks, I see. Soon enough, she yanks him onto the floor and they start their dance. George and Edyta dance to “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps,” (originally sung by Doris Day) which is a great song, but not for the Rumba. However much I wanted to pay attention to this dance, I kept thinking about that scene in Strictly Ballroom where Scott and Fran dance to this song behind the curtain at the Australian Pan Pacific Championships…. *sigh*….. Oh, where was I?
They look pretty good it’s sort of has a “girl dancing with her father” vibe….or her uncle (*winkwink nudgenudge*): not sexy at all. Sort of creepy. George apes it up a lot and manages to keep up with Edyta, who dances around him quite a bit.
Len: A little disappointed. You know I’m one of your biggest fans, George. I only saw basics., Not enough content: Edyta just danced around you. Okay, he didn’t say dance, he said flatulated. But enough about Edyta’s personal issues... (*rimshot*)
Bruno: Tonight the production was Dynasty: the Musical. What’s next? Drag?
Carrie Ann: George, you are just such a fantastic entertainer, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. There should have been a little more dancing but the hip action (*ew*) was on par.
Total Score: 23
Miss Manners, Ballroom Style
Last week, Lisa and Louis caused a rift between the judges. This week, as they try to tackle the Quickstep, Lisa’s a little nervous. The Quickstep is “very Ballroom” and Lisa got low scores with the Waltz the first week. She’s having a tough time picking up the steps and she’s feeling really frustrated. She’s boo-hooing in the dance studio as Louis….well, Louis doesn’t seem to do anything. He says that her biggest challenge is moving from Latin to Ballroom. In an attempt to help Lisa, Louis sends Lisa to etiquette lessons. Like learning how to drink tea and sit down properly will help. She does work on Lisa’s posture, so that’s probably helpful. We’ll have to wait and see.
Lisa and Louis dance the Quickstep to (are you ready for this one?) 9 to 5. Yes, the song from the movie. After ten seconds, I turn the music off. Problem solved: it’s much better and more elegant. Lisa’s lavender costume is trimmed with lots of matching marabou trim. She looks like Big Bird’s sister. All kidding aside (for the next sentence or two), Lisa looks great. Her posture has improved and she looks at ease. She’s definitely keeping up with Louis – not an easy job with the Quickstep, which is, well, quick.
Len: In the Quickstep, you want to see speed and control, lovely posture and great movement: you did exactly that.
Bruno: The emancipation of Lisa is now complete. Welcome to the ballroom!
Carrie Ann: I think that your fear of Ballroom should go out the window because you can do Ballroom! That was very good.
Total Score: 27
For the Boys <---- Lame and cheesy, I know
This week, Stacy and Tony have to try to improve in perfection. Stacy says she’s excited to be doing the Jive. Tony explains to Stacy that it was American troops who brought the Jive to the rest of the world during WWII. In an effort to thank the troops, Stacy and Tony head off to Camp Pendleton to test out their performance for the Marines. I’m thinking that they really won’t care about the Jive, nor will they care about Tony. As Stacy appears in a sea of camouflage, some of the Marines hold up signs that were probably made my ABC. One says “Go Stacy, Go Tony, Go Stars” – clearly made by a production assistant. Another sign asks “Body Slam me Stacy”… okay, maybe that was made by the Marine. Stacy and Tony dance for the Marines while wearing army green and the troops go crazy. She spends time dancing with some of the guys. Tony says that they really needed something to raise their spirits this week and this definitely did that.
Both clad in black, with matching fedoras, Stacy and Tony dance to “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” and the trench coat stays on…. until she removes it to reveal a little red, fringy costume. The fedora: also gone. Tony keeps his coat on (dammit). I know they put Stacy in high heels to emphasize the legs (as if we wouldn’t notice how long her legs are without 3 inch heels), but she’s a little taller than Tony: it makes him look tiny. They’re energetic and look like they’re having a great time. Stacy sashays over and finishes the number atop the judges table. Len reaches for his heart pills.
Len: Stacy, I had a feeling that your long legs might be a problem, but they weren’t. It was spot-on again. Well done, Tony.
Bruno: The Jive is about excitement, energy, fast-paced, precise. You did everything!
Carrie Ann: There’s nothing to say except that you were pretty much perfect.
Total Score: 30
Rockin' the Viennese Waltz
In addition to their regular routine, this week the pairs also had to learn the Viennese Waltz for a group dance. They all get together, except for Jerry, who’s at the Super Bowl. After lots of coffee and sitting around, Louis takes control and gets everyone up to work. He chooses Tony as his partner and begins to demonstrate the waltz. George already needs a drink. Tony tells us that the Viennese Waltz is the most classical of all ballroom dances. Drew seems bored by the fact that they have to dance in the same circle the whole time. He’s also getting a little dizzy.
As the day goes on, they start bumping into each other and George takes the opportunity to play bumper cars, knocking into Drew any chance he gets. George says he’s just trying to have fun with it. As he and Edyta waltz around, George’s pants hit the floor. They all have a great time and, hopefully for the viewers, also learned the dance. During the dance, they will all be doing the same steps, but each pair will have the opportunity to do their own little dance in the center of the floor. Because this dance is not being judged, they can do whatever they want, even lifts. George seems to want to do the Chicken Dance.
Appropriately (not), the pairs dance the Viennese Waltz to “Fallin’” (yes, the one by Alicia Keys). Will someone please fire the musical director on this show? Okay, back to the dancing…. Everyone looks great in their waltz-y attire – the men all wear black suits, the women, beautiful gowns (Except for the nasty marabou on Cheryl’s dress. What is it with the marabou?). Drew and Cheryl move to the center and perform a lift where he flips her over his shoulder and onto his back (it’s very figure skater-y). I’m surprised he didn’t choke on all that marabou. Next up are Stacy and Tony who also do a lift, with a spin. George and Edyta, wisely, do not spin. George does a move that I’ll call “Dog at a Fire Hydrant” – très classy. Next up are Lisa and Louis who do a spin with Lisa on one leg and Louis spinning her around. Then they move into a lift where he holds her by one arm and one ankle and she makes like an airplane. <-----looks better than it sounds. Finally, Jerry and Anna do a lift that begins in one position and ends with her on his back. Bear with me here, this stuff is hard to describe!
Overall, the Viennese Waltz survives both Alicia Keys and this show. Thank God Master P didn’t make it this far. The judges now have an opportunity to comment. Len says that the waltz should be gentle and lyrical and that’s what he saw here. He thought Tony and Stacy and Drew and Cheryl were very good. Carrie Ann liked Lisa and Louis: they took a chance with their lift/spin. Bruno, who is quickly sounding like a stalker, waxes rhapsodic about Stacy’s legs and compares her to a ballerina. Creepy.
That’s it for this episode. To find out who gets eliminated this week, look for waywyrd’s fabulous recap of the Friday night results show!
I’m going to watch my copy of Strictly Ballroom for the 800th time ………Critical@fansofrealitytv.com