So much drama this week! I don’t know about you, but I’m worn out. I can barely even joke! Then again, much of what happened is no joking matter. So, let’s take a calmer look at this week’s results episode. Sometimes it’s best to just lean back a bit, and merely describe what’s happened. We all need to catch our breath. Most of all, Jerry.
We see a montage of last night’s performances. Tom B talks about a clear leader emerging (Mario and Karina) and the “camaraderie” the cast showed during the group disco dance. Jerry interviews that “Disco is my life!”. Kym giggles. Tom gets a bit melodramatic with the narration again, saying “last night it was every man for himself”. Cheryl interviews that Emmitt doesn’t have to work at being a manly dancer (as the judges told him he was last night) because he has so much masculinity. That scores a big grin from Emmitt, but then, most everything does!
Tom pegs Joey’s Rumba as a bit bland. We see Bruno’s judge’s comments from last night: Joey needed to “make the dirty dancing dirtier”. Joey quips in his interview that he prefers to leave hot and sexy behind closed doors at home. Yes but Joey, we’re not voting on you there. The judges’ comments on Monique from last night dunning her for not sticking to the Samba’s steps, get a verbal counter-attack from Louis in the interview booth. Len had called Mo’s dance “all cheese, no burger”. He reads a description of Samba – the steps, and its heritage. He ends with, “Nooo burger?” I really wanted him to say “Wheeere’s the Beef?” but he probably wasn’t even born then. Rest in peace Clara Peller.
Jerry & Kym’s Paso Doble is shown again, and the judges’ comments too. It’s pretty much obvious it was a poor showing. Jerry interviews that he thinks they’re going home. “You know how they say the Opera isn’t over til the fat lady sings? I hate to say it, but there was this heavy set woman in the balcony…she was headed for the mic.” Whenever Jerry does leave the show, I’ll miss his quips.
Mario & Karina’s Mambo is shown again along with the judges’ raves. Mario credits Karina with making the dance a success. He says he doesn’t feel like a Mambo King – more like the court jester, next to the Mamba Queen, Karina. It’s nice that he’s given her some credit. Tom introduces the leader board:
First place: Mario & Karina with 28; Second place: Emmitt & Cheryl with 25; Third place: Joey & Edyta with 24; Fourth place; Monique & Louis, with 23; and in last place, Jerry & Kym matching their first night’s score with 18.
Judge Len says that for its fantastic rhythm, and the way it captured the spirit of the dance, they’d like to see Mario & Karina’s Mambo again. Or maybe they just wanted to test that double-sided tape again? We’ll see…Here’s Mario & Karina!
Their dance is even better tonight…both seem much more relaxed. Mario especially is dancing much smoother. Now, he’s relaxed and having more fun. If he could just lose some of the tension from performance nights, he’d fare even better in this contest. The show’s seen some surprises so far, and I think it’s not good to ever get too complacent about one’s place on the scoreboard. A team may have a bad week but be totally strong the next, so Mario should be always on point. Not en pointe, although that would be an interesting image too.
Anyway, Karina’s steps were perhaps more sizzling last night, but she is a very good dancer, and they are dancing more as a pair tonight. Perhaps the drive to impress the judges makes Mario tense up a bit too much. Is Harry’s Laugh Yoga instructor still available? But as for tonight’s performance, it garners a standing ovation from the studio audience.
Next: Lionel Richie, a recording artist whose hits were mostly in the 1970s (with The Commodores) and the 1980s, will sing one of his ‘old’ songs, “All Night Long”. This one used to get quite a lot of airplay in its day. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the level of musical guests this show has been booking – even if most of them were best known in another decade. These are still A level musical stars. Lionel Richie won no less than 5 Grammy awards. It’s a shame most people today know him as “Nicole’s dad”. In his time he also burnt up a tabloid or two.
Samantha Shoulders introduces which dancers will kinetically illustrate Richie’s performance: Tony (he was Sara’s partner), Elena (she was Tucker Carlson’s partner), Karina (we know whose partner she is) and…Welcome back, Maksim.
Thought I’d toss in a few squeals or superlatives, didn’t ya? Well, no. I’m completely neutral on the topic.
Yeeeahh…So anyway, Nicole’s dad is warming up his pipes. Celebutante Father of the Year is decked out in all-black…shirt, vest, pants, boots. He has his own bass guitarist, and then the house band accompanies. It’s hard to tell whether he is lip-synching or not. It doesn’t really matter…the dance we’re about to see is in my opinion, the best of the season. And no, not just because…Elena… is in it.
The studio audience claps along in time, and Lionel faces an empty dance floor. This is a song about partying “all night long!”. And now, the dancers enter the stage – first the two women: Elena in white, Karina in black. Both wear a backless short dress with fringed skirt. The costumes are very nice and look expensive, not like a dance costume, and not overly gaudy or tacky. Just the opposite in fact. The women kind of skip across the stage and then away from each other again. Tony and Maksim approach one of the women each: Tony with Elena, and Maksim with Karina, which seems odd as Maksim and Elena are tall, but okay.
Tony is in a sheer white shirt with white ruffles down it, black pants. Maksim’s costume is interesting. It’s hard to get much of a look at the shirt, since there isn’t one close-up of Maks in the entire dance sequence (which cameraman did he tick off?) but it’s a sheer black shirt with strips of white cloth down both sides in front. It’s as if someone took the ruffles off a white tuxedo shirt and stuck them to a, well, a sheer black dress shirt. One doesn’t see too many of those so I’m not quite sure how to describe it.
Tony and Maksim parade their partners around the dance floor, each pair taking steps toward and away from each other. This is where I wish I knew more about ballroom dance steps. What’s stunning is the way all the dancers are right on the beat. All four hit the dance floor giving it all they got and they keep that level of energy up for the entire performance. Now this is dance performance as it’s meant to be. I keep wishing the show would showcase American dancers at their best (no matter where they hail from originally) and this number is what I hoped for.
Tony and Maksim do some type of move where they pin their arms behind their backs, and move their chest in and out rapidly. They are also both grinning widely as they do this. Clearly the dancers are having an incredible time out there. The audience loves it too, and they cheer. Elena and Karina are in the center of the dance floor facing one another, and do what appear to be Mambo moves. Tony and Maksim now run a huge circle around the women, who then switch partners, Elena with Maksim and Karina with Tony. Once again the pairs hold onto one another by placing an arm behind their partner, and perform more in and out type of steps. All of them seem downright joyful. The studio audience is on their feet and dancing in place and clapping their hands. Apparently this joy’s contagious! The combination of Lionel singing his hit live, and four professionals dancing like turbo tops, has the audience very jazzed, it’s palpable.
Tony & Elena do a spotlight dance in stage center; they’re impressive. Again, the song helps too as it’s made for dancing. By now, Maks and Karina have run up the sides of the stage and are now dancing all over the floor, with Tony & Elena out of sight. Maks picks Karina up and throws her over his shoulder at one point. In this dance they can all let loose and he clearly is. He seems totally relaxed, adding little flourishes to his dance. Louis skips back onto the stage – and both men make their way ‘downstage’ toward the audience, to a collective roar. The men perform the chest-wiggling move again, and the women circle them this time. The men and women echo each others’ dance moves, then as the song ends, skip up to surround Lionel Richie. This was one sizzling dance number. Kudos to the choreographer as well.
Sam interviews some of the cast backstage, regarding next week’s requirement they each learn two dances. Mario replies that one is hard enough so two will be very hard. He also says he has to juggle all this between jobs. Monique says that she’s a bit worried about her place due to low scores last night. Samantha – I’m not sure if she’s decided to try ‘funny’ but her “Moooniiqqque” and her mumbling to Jerry – well, someone’s been sniffing the greasepaint backstage. Jerry, in his Matador costume from last night, (okay, now I’m sure that Sam’s just trying to be funny and it’s coming out awkwardly – she just hinted that Jerry looks like a cinema usher) gamely quips along as usual. He said that if he doesn’t go home tonight, he’s “going to demand a recount”. Sam jokes about his needing a hearse to go home in, not a bus. She also reveals that Jerry was saying good-bye to cast and crew that day. He says it’s time to go home, the other dancers are much better than he.
Audience feedback from last night: Some liked Jerry; some liked Emmitt; some are inspired to disco now; Various audience members disliked the addition of Crumping to Monique’s Samba; a female audience member deems Mario “hot hot hot” and Mario’s buddy George Lopez and ‘old friend’ Eva Longoria object to Mario’s being ‘judged like a professional dancer’. Leeza Gibbons (???) confides that “there was an entire section” around her who “would not go home until they got to stick their tongue in Mario’s dimples”. (???) Some guy angling for Tom’s (or maybe Bruno’s) job says “It will be Joey against Mario, the Bald and the Beautiful. It’s gonna be a TK-Whoa, for Joe.” More audience members say: It’s time for Jerry to go; They admire Sara for her courage; Leeza says “Bring Vivica back” (???) ; other people say bring Willa back; others say, keep everyone this week.
Time to reveal who stays: Mario and Karina are safe. Monique and Louis are safe. And up next, another performance by professional dancers – Nick (he was Vivica’s partner) and his real-life wife, Lena. The song they’ll be dancing to is “The Show Must Go On” – which by the way is also the implied theme of the evening. Nick and Lena’s dance is very dramatic – it begins with Lena, in a black gown with black feather accents, and fishnet gloves, lying on the dance floor, arching her back. Her arm movements and facial expressions are dark, passionate. Nick begins by standing with his back to her. Their dance together is very impressive, with Nick mostly showing off his wife’s moves, but the two of them dancing to complement each other as well. Somehow it reminds me of ice dancing, and Lena’s costume would work there, too, and be striking. Hers is a well-made gown; rather than just one piece, it has different lengths and layers, and gives a subtle impression of a black swan or something equally mysterious. Nick seems to be dressed in white shirt, black leather pants. He picks Lena up, and moves in several circles with her lying stiff in his arms. The audience cheers. Nick & Lena do a dance similar to what Sara & Tony tried to “Phantom of the Opera”, but with a natural sense of drama, and flawless rhythm and movement. Nick’s very good, and I’d describe Lena’s dancing like this: Expert. Their dance ends with a backbend flourish.
Time for the sponsor segment! Tysonia, the Slim Fast dance challenge winner, performs the “Cha Cha Cha” this week. I’m unsure what the point of this weekly segment is, other than to advertise a diet drink. I keep wishing they’d pull Tysonia somehow, into the live show. The segment always seems like bad home video, her teacher never cracks a smile, and they seem to choose the least flattering clothes for her. Anyway, this week she performs the Cha Cha in front of her daughter’s class. First, we see Tysonia practicing the Cha Cha, then taking her two teen girls out for manicures and shopping. The dance performance goes fine, and all the kids watching it cheer. It must be great to watch a family member make this type of progress, etc. I’m just not sure what it’s doing on the show. Either make her a part of the live show, or leave it out, is how I feel.
Back to the live show: from his new CD “Coming Home”, Lionel Richie sings “I Call It Love”. I’m still not sure whether he’s lip-synching; something sounds a bit canned. It’s still a nice performance, even if the strain’s showing a bit on Lionel’s voice. He still has that really nice timbre he’s famous for – but holding the notes and reaching up high are more of an effort. Then again he’s been singing a long, long time now. There’s bound to be some wear and tear. I can’t help wondering the books this man could write, if he wanted to. Studio 54, disco era – he’s seen it all, I’m sure. “I Call It Love” is a nice, upbeat pop song. Richie’s got quite a command of the audience. So that’s who Nicole’s dad is. Now ya know.
Next, we have a mini documentary about how the costumes are designed and made for Dancing with the Stars. It surprises me to learn that the stars have a lot of input into the designs. We see them standing over a sketch pad with the fashion designers, and talking animatedly. If the stars have been helping to design their own look, it might explain some of the monstrosities we saw, especially on the women. Most women have a set idea how they like to present themselves. With Shanna and Willa, it seemed like hoochie and peppermint, sometimes as one costume. Jerry quips, “Anything that goes with a big nose and glasses, that’s my look”. Emmitt says the colors are up to Cheryl, but the look is up to him. Well, that explains why his costume looks the same every week (black vest, bright shirt, black pants). Another point of interest is that there really is an entire design team, and they make each costume from scratch every week. Different designers and sewers would also help explain why the quality and innovation levels differ so widely from costume to costume.
Now we have a body language expert, in a completely different ‘behind the scenes’ video montage, decoding what the stars are actually thinking – when they are prepping for performance, when they are being judged and when they are waiting for the final results each week. The body language expert is Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, although she looks and sounds an awful lot like (Body language expert) Lillian Glass. Her conclusions are: When prepping for the performance – Joey tries to convince himself he can do it. Mario wants to show us he can do it. Emmitt is used to pressure and is totally relaxed. Being judged – Mario is fearful. Monique is nervous and blinks a lot when hearing negative feedback. Joey shows nervousness by licking his lips – which we see many examples of in rapid succession, causing roars of laughter from the studio audience. Emmitt clenches his teeth or touches his belt “to ground himself”. Jerry tries to put his hand into his pocket, to ‘hide’, because Jerry is very uncomfortable and this process is soo unfamiliar to him. (I agree – he keeps practically begging to get voted off, but stays and stays) Jo-Ellan notes that Jerry “hangs his head in a fashion that says ‘I’m not worthy’”.
Jerry quips “I’ve died every week on this show, let’s be honest”. As for waiting to hear the final results – Mario, she says, is all business. He wants to move on. Monique looks at the ground, hiding from the verdict. Others look for the answer, and keep looking up. Joey is calm during this time as he realizes he has no control over what he’s about to hear. Ms. Demitrius predicts from now on, the contest will become more intense and we’ll see many more such behaviors from them all. I just keep wondering if we can get any of them in a Poker game.
Back to the live studio – Tom and Len explain that next week the teams will each have to learn – not one, not three, not four, not five, but TWO new dances. Len says that there’s no room to argue any more – they’re all two people stuck in a rowboat who may as well get along. I think he goes on a bit longer than expected, as Tom’s almost yawning when he asks “anything else?” Len tells Jerry to use the “KISS” method and “Keep it Sweet and Simple”. That’s not the version I heard.
charadesuspense, Tomantha tell us who will be moving on to next week, and who might go home. Joey and Edyta are in the bottom two. Emmitt and Cheryl will move ahead. Jerry & Kym (shocker!) are also in the bottom two teams. Joey looks pretty sad. So ABC makes them all wait until commercials are over, to hear “their fate”. Naturally. This show should be called “Sweating with the Stars” – I’m sure they do their share under those red lights.
Tom suspensefully begins, “The couple with the lowest score…and therefore leaving right now…neither of you!”
The audience cheers, and Jerry literally falls over. Cartman runs out and screams, “You B*s**rds! You killed Jerry!”.
But just like his South Park perennially resuscitated alter ego, Jerry pops up again. He shakes his head in disbelief. What has he done in signing up for this show?, he must be wondering. I saw a bit of his talk show this week – they’re filling out the segments by having the guests interviewed by Bodyguard Steve, and strange skits. I also saw Jerry boast, “I’m on Dancing with the Stars!” and twirl a hastily-grabbed audience member. Things are probably different by now – he likely wakes up in a cold sweat that he’s actually won this thing.
Anyway, Joey helps Jerry off the floor, and SamTomtha explain that no one leaves this week, but that next week, all of this week’s votes and judges’ scores will count in addition to next week’s. So this week matters, but no one’s going home. I hope they have a fleet of EMTs on call for Jerry, is all I can say. The poor man’s doing a talk show, radio show, and this show, all in different cities. Now we see a tribute montage to Sara and Tony – their various dances, and practise sessions. Tony says Sara brings a great feeling into the room and as for Sara, she says “I always gave it my all.” And who can ask for more?
And now, I’ll watch our remaining dancers as they freestyle to “The Show Must Go On”. Yes…it must. Unfortunately for Jerry!
Tune in next Tuesday, when they’ll be
torturing Jerry some moremaking each couple perform two separate dances. AJane will be ready with some CPR, just in case. If she can’t revive Jerry, I’m sure she can revive the joking spirit of these little reviews. Over to you, Recap Partner.