Every week, I start my recap by sweetly reminiscing about the dearly eliminated and tearfully recalling the highlights of their remarkable but, alas, very short careers on the show. Since I'm a creature of habit, this week shall be no different: Leeza and Tony were baked under the cruel red light after which they got the boot. Farewell Tony! But the cheese must go on and another quasi celeb is down, with seven more to go before we find our winner. I'm not going to repeat my wish for a one hour show again. Maybe not pleading for it will work better. We shall see.
This week we're in for either the sexy, romantic Rumba or the sexy, energetic Samba. Want to know how they decide who dances what? Me too. I would have especially liked being a fly on the wall when the producers were trying to come up with Clyde's dance:
- “Should we make him do the Samba or the Rumba this week?”
- “Does it really matter? Nobody will be able to tell the difference anyway.”
- “Yeah, you're right. Let's flip a coin for it.”
Samantha, the superfluous second host, declares that this will be the sexiest show ever. Tom, not to be outdone, says all the stars will be scantily clad. When is the beer commercial coming up? With such teasers I'm eagerly anticipating a ticker tape running across the screen announcing that tonight's show will be R rated. However, there is no beer commercial and no ticker tape. Figures. Instead, we get right down to the business of seeing the stars scantily clad.
Shimmy like a man
It seems that the Samba is causing Ian some distress in the studio. He thinks the “shimmy”, which is often a big part of the Samba, is a feminine move and that makes him uncomfortable, so he decides to ask for a change. Cheryl flatly refuses, saying it's all in the choreography, then goes outside the studio to sulk. I guess Ian needs to put up or shut up. As it turns out, their Samba, set to “Hips don't lie”, is not bad but I'm not blown away, shimmy or not. All this drama for nothing. Len rambles on saying something about competence and the need to work on the choreography. I took it to mean he wasn't wild about this dance. Bruno says Ian got the hip action and went for it like a “power tool” but he wants Ian to forget about everything and come out with more confidence. Carrie is of the same opinion. She wants him to dance with more abandon and get better. They shimmy to a total of 24 points.
Paid to walk all over the Rumba
What is Clyde really doing on this show? He's not here because he can dance, or even willing to dance, that much I know. I doubt he needs the cash, although this week, rehearsal for the Rumba needed to be squeezed in alongside Clyde's previously scheduled appearance in China. I guess he's capable of making an effort, if the effort involves reading a speech from a sheet of paper for a fee, which is all this big “previous commitment” amounted to. We are, of course, meant to infer from this little segment that Clyde here is a busy, busy man and Dancing is but a little insignificant part of his busy life, even though he's being paid to be on the show. Do you still care about his Rumba? It looks just like his dance from last week, which is to say he walks woodenly from one end of the floor to the other and then back. Repeat and rinse. Bruno calls it “Rumba on anesthetic”, criticizes the illegal lift at end and the complete lack of footwork. Carrie is sick and tired of the charade too. She calls him “the worst dancer in the competition” and chides him for breaking the rules. Len knows the footwork sucked, but he thinks Clyde tried to “show a proper Rumba”. Where? Len may be blind or maybe they promised him a raise if he didn't trash Clyde and his stupid robot grin. This little disaster brings them 13 points and hopefully a ticket back to China tomorrow night for Clyde.
Waxing for success
Heather likes the Latin dances for their freedom and rhythm however she thinks that they're being held back by Jonathan's chest hair. In order to make his chest more presentable, and to allow him to be competitive with Maks for sex symbol points, the first useful field trip of the season is scheduled to a salon. Jonathan is separated from his thick protective fur by means of painful waxing, and his newly acquired hairlessness seems to have a positive effect on their Samba, which is set to “Heaven must be missing an angel”. It's smooth but not excessively so, and while Heather holds her own, she stumbles at the end. Carrie is impressed, despite the fall, and recommends some ballet classes for Heather, which will help with her upper body posture. Len thinks she sold it, but her arms need more extension. Bruno agrees that she needs to polish the top half but enjoyed Heather's “Disco diva” performance. The wax job earns them 21 points.
Reunited, and it feels so useless
On a high from last week, when they earned the first 10 of the entire competition, Joey is approaching his first slower dance with some trepidation. Technique, or lack thereof, is easier to see with a slower dance, he says. They're dancing the Rumba to ”Besame mucho” and that is reason enough for Kym to call for reinforcements in the form of Lance Bass and some other dude by the name of Alfonso Somebody. Was this dude in 'Nsync too? I have no clue. I used to avoid 'Nsync like the plague, back in the day. Maybe Lance is coming out with a new album or something too, because the sum total of his advice for Joey is to “keep a straight face”, which is hardly useful although Kym claims they were both helpful. Sure. Len says he's going to call him “Have-a-go Joe” because Joey always manages to come out and have a go – groan – but unfortunately he's not really impressed this time around saying Joey had a go at being feminine. Snicker! Bruno strongly disagrees, saying that for him it was sexy and strong. Carrie straddles the fence and declares Joey was a bit of both. She thinks he overdid it, attacked the dance too hard and went overboard. They get 25 points for their sexually ambiguous, overcooked Rumba.
Drumming in the Carnival
The Wizards of Queen from last week are returning this week without their magical powers to hopefully erase all memory of their last performance, which earned them a place in the bottom two. Edyta, ever mindful that John needs either a field trip or creative props to help him focus his training, suggests drums so that John can tune into the rhythm of the Samba. For some bizarre reason, this suggestion leads to some experimentation with both Scottish marching band uniforms and Brazilian carnival attire. Their Samba is set to “Love is in the air” and it's a fairly respectable and entertaining effort. John is at least trying very hard to dance, not just put one feet in front of the other, unlike Clyde “The Walking Corpse” Drexler. Bruno appreciates that John tapped into his inner child and had fun, even though he messed up a lot of his footwork. Carrie gives him a standing ovation and says she loved the fact that he had fun. Len thinks John came out and got into the character of the dance, and gave it all. It's not magic, but the carnival earns 18 points.
Showered with compliments
The #1 spot, where Laila feels comfortable, eluded her last week, so this week she is determined to double her efforts by sexing up their Rumba. To make sure that her family life stays intact, she invited her fiance to witness all the simulated kissing and pawing and reassure himself that Maks is not putting his hands anywhere where they don't belong. He does a great job of “directing” the pair to keep apart and I think the fiance manages to choreograph a decent Minuet for them. Of course, it's all in jest. Laila will do whatever it takes to move up to the top of the leader board even if it means pawing Maks in an inappropriate fashion. They dance to “Put your records on” and it's a very slow, sexy Rumba. While I don't usually watch Laila this time she commanded attention and she apparently managed to impress the judges too. Carrie loved it, saying Laila is this week's “comeback kid”. Len, normally disappointed when her dancing doesn't quite live up to his expectations, is very happy, noting that this was Laila's best performance to date. Bruno digs two inches under the surface for a new adjective and comes up with “luscious” saying Laila was hot and sexy and he needs a shower. I'm sure so do all of you, now that you read that. Lovely Laila logs a 10 from Len for a lavish total of 28 points.
Possessed by the tiger beat
It seems this week, everyone – except Clyde, who is just strolling aimlessly - is chasing that perfect 10 and Apolo is no exception. He and Julianne waltzed gracefully into the top three last week and now it's time to step it up and go in for the kill. To this end, Julianne encourages Apolo to bring out his inner tiger and be sexy. Their rehearsals are always cute and entertaining, just like their performances, but Apolo thinks that they're done with their cutesy couple phase and they're on to their Mr. and Mrs. Hot Couple phase. Dressed in the shortest tiger print dress known to man, hair teased into a sort of lion's mane at the top of her head, Julianne looks like the tiger in this pairing. I'm confused. Wasn't Apolo supposed to be the beast? But anyway, their music is “I like to move it, move it” which I last heard sung by a bunch of animated singing lemurs on my daughter's “Madagascar” DVD. It's an oddly appropriate piece of music for their choreography, with that whole beastly theme going on. The entire audience is on their feet at the end of their performance and Len thinks everything, from the music, to the choreography, to the costumes, came together perfectly to make one great show. Bruno raves that they were “possessed tonight” and that the entire nation was stunned by their incredible dance. Carrie simply says it was perfection. These tigers get three perfect 10s for a perfect total of 30 points.
What's Rumba got to do with this?
The swamp bear turned lion is busy this week. Lots of “real life” commitments, that are apparently way more important than Dancing, are keeping Billy from putting in as many hours at the studio as the week before. Nevertheless, Billy Ray and Karina find time to dance even on the set of “Hannah Montana”. This is also an excellent opportunity to flash the name of the show boldly across the screen and gain a few more viewers. Billy is a bit uncomfortable with the sexiness of the Rumba and wonders aloud whether they shouldn't be dancing it in the dark instead. I think that's not such a bad idea, but he's got even bigger problems than attempting to be sexy. Swamp lion Billy is wearing a purple satin vest and their music is “What's love got to do with it”. The purple satin vest is what he should be worried about. I'm not sure whether Billy is dancing the Rumba or not because he is anchored in the middle of the dance floor, barely moving. Bruno says Karina may have somehow turned Billy into a “pillar of salt” despite her hotness, calling their dance a “fried Rumba”. Carrie liked the arms, his attempt at the toe lead and his effort. Len wanted more romance and less “nights in the back of a Chevy”. I didn't see any stuff suitable for the back of a Chevy. All I saw was a lot of G rated standing in one place. All that standing in one place earns Billy 17 points.
And just like that we're done for tonight with all the flimsy gowns, satin vests and Bruno's animal similes. Leading the pack are Apolo and Julianne, Laila and Maks and Joey and Kym while Clyde and Elena and Billy Ray and Karina are quickly fading and may be visited by the red light of doom unless they get enough votes. That's what they say. I say, they're just fine where they are. The first three couples need your votes way more!
Elimination night will feature Macy Gray, because she is another somebody who clearly needs to promote something, otherwise she wouldn't come on this show. Lisa Rinna can't resist showing people that she hasn't slacked off and is still able to wear a barely-there ballroom dress, so she will be here Tuesday night to do just that. The pros will be swinging - no, not the way you think! - and someone will be allowed to get back to their previously scheduled obscure private life. Jimmy Kimmel and his hirsute parking lot girlfriend will also be back, presumably to teach us another dance. Get all the goods from the great Critical .
Have you ever seen so many zoo animals on one show? Let's talk tiger!