We're nearing the finish line folks, and let me tell you, nobody is
happiersadder than I am about that fact. Whatever am I going to do with those weekly 679 minutes and 38 seconds of freedom I'll get after the show is over? I think I'll need to make an appointment with a spa hair salontherapist to deal with my loss. I may even need to go to the mallto a 12 step program in an attempt to restore peace and harmony to my life. Sounds expensive but when a girl needs shoppingtherapy, a girl needs shoppingtherapy.
Never mind my troubles, let's talk dancing. Last week, astute viewers realized that the hillbilly swamp bear turned hillbilly wild beast needed to go back to the swamp and dispatched Billy without much ado, thereby saving us all from another week of tiresome platitudes from Carrie. Slowly but surely America, has gotten rid of the undeserving underachievers who were only hired to pad the line-up and provide cushioning for the ideal final four couples. Finally we're left with the cream of the crop, and going into the semifinals tonight with hopes for an electrifying finale swimming before our eyes. Who will advance after tonight, and who's star will fall dramatically, turn into a giant fireball only to be swallowed up by the immense black void of obscurity, never to be heard from again? Can't wait to find out? Read on. Not that you'll know by the end of this recap, but I never promised truth in advertising. I'm allowed to fudge a bit to keep you interested.
This week our stars choose their own Ballroom and Latin dances, the reason for that being that if they screw up the judges can say “well, you did pick this crummy dance, you have nobody to blame but yourself”. So much easier on the conscience should they end up giving out low scores in an attempt to influence the public vote...
Quick and smooth, like they're on rails
Apolo, not quite a Greek god but certainly a minor deity among mere mortals with two left feet, has demonstrated near perfection last week and took home enough points to show for it. Staying on top is Apolo's challenge for the week and he knows that they need to deliver a perfect Quickstep and and even better Cha-Cha to do that. Winning over Len to a tune of a perfect 10 for their Ballroom dance is also one of the big goals this week. The side trip this week is to Wango-Tango for a quick performance and another 3 minutes of airtime filled. Their Quickstep is up first. Julianne is elegant in a sparkly navy blue dress and Apolo is cute in a matching dark suit. Their routine is really great, they're in sync, the skips and hops are just right, not big, not overdone; the whole thing is thoroughly entertaining. Len thinks it was fantastic, they had control and speed. Bruno says “the Apolo express is on the magic ride“ and he's taken America with him. He loved the footwork, their lightness and speed. Carrie thinks they set the standard high for the semifinals and it was fantastic. Their locomotive is full steam ahead with 30 points.
Coached by (the) Maffia
Ian was saved by voters from a fate worse than death (landing in the bottom two) and to ensure a place for himself in the finals he brings in a life coach named Mike Maffia. Learning about life from the Maffia could get you eliminated, and I mean eliminated. Permanently. However, it seems like this session is benign and non-violent and the guy is only here to tell Ian to be himself and relax. How much did that advice cost? 'Cause I could have told him the same thing for free. But why get free advice when ABC can pay for it?
They chose the Jive and the Tango for this week and Cheryl is already seeing some positive changes in Ian. He promises to bring a whole new side of himself to the dance floor, a side that will hopefully bring home the bacon. Their Tango is up first to a song that's probably called “Man eater” judging by the lyrics. It's a good Tango but there's nothing terribly exciting about it, although they make no mistakes and end with a flourish. Bruno thinks Ian showed “the devil inside” but he needs to be cleaner with the footwork. Carrie says he started out strong but then lost focus in the middle somewhere. Len thinks this was their best dance ever and it was right on the money. He claims to have really, really liked it. Len is really, really just there to be the dissenting opinion. With a little help from (the) Maffia they earn 28 points.
Hopping like Cleopatra
Leila chose the Quickstep for this weeks' Ballroom portion of the competition because it's high energy and fast. Maks wants perfection but their rehearsal is fraught with tension and disagreements, causing Leila to walk off in a huff. Even though they need to practice hard to make it to the finals, they still find time for a barbecue at Laila's house where Maks burns the chicken and is then thrown in the pool. All vital steps on the way to ballroom glory. Their music is “Walk like an Egyptian” which explains Laila's weird dress that's a golden confection that sorta kinda if you squint hard with one eye it looks like Cleopatra's dress would look like if the poor woman was getting her clothes from a Hollywood costume warehouse. Laila is even wearing golden flats to complete the outfit. Maks is wearing a suit that looks like Chairman Mao might have loved, with a Sphinx on his back to make it look more
cheesyEgyptian. Excuse me, I think I need to go get a drink now. I'm sure you want to hear about their dancing but I could barely watch, it was that odd. Not as quick as Apolo and the whole theme thing just made it a bit gimmicky. Carrie says Laila brings a whole new vibe to everything she does (I'll say) and she thought their dance was sophisticated and elegant. Elegant?? In which milennium? Len gives praise and compares them to Apolo which makes Maks a bit mad in the head and daring enough to talk back and ask which dance was harder or something to that effect. I refuse to rewind a second of this show. Sorry. Len slaps him down verbally but still thinks their performance was great. Bruno gushes that Laila was like Cleopatra, the jewel of the Nile, she was fantastic, the winner. Amun Ra visits peace, happiness and 30 points upon his somewhat deserving subjects.
Campaigning at Disneyland
Joey was stunned by people's indifference to his talents last week. Landing in the bottom two was a shock that hurt. He wants to make it to the finals badly, so this week Joey is determined
to suck up toto entertain the fans more than anything, which is why they will dance the Foxtrot and the Jive. His thinking is probably that if people fall into a stupor during the Foxtrot, the Jive would wake them up later. Not a bad strategy. After all, anything that keeps me from landing in a Foxtrot induced coma is a good thing. They both realize that unless they can butter up the fans and make them want to pick up the phone and vote, they will be going home. Meeting the fans could make a big difference, therefore the next logical step is to go to Disneyland and shake as many potential voters' hands as possible. After their stint with Mickey Mouse, Joey and Kym are ready to face the big bad enemy who almost sent them home. Dressed head to toe in white tie with Kym wearing a mesh dress over a white bathing suit, or at least that's what it looks like (courting the male demographic perhaps?), they Foxtrot to “My Guy”. Len says it has a bit of razzmatazz about it but it was very smooth. Bruno says this was a Foxtrot with perfect Hollywood credentials and he was enchanted. Carrie thinks Joey won the Ballroom round with that dance. They can thank Mickey Mouse, Disney, ABC and Kym's bathing suit because they earn 30 points.
Filler filled with filler
Because we still have 376 minutes to go and only four couples left, ABC stuck Len in a limo and ordered him to go around from studio to studio to dispense some much needed wisdom and reminisce about his golden days from the first quarter of 19th century when his specialty was Latin dancing. Some grainy black and white photos attest to this, lest anybody should have doubts whether Len can even dance at all. Wow, I didn't know they had photography back in those days... Len shows Ian how to bounce and kick for his Jive, encourages Apolo to turn out his feet and be cheeky for the Cha-Cha, instructs Laila on proper arm movement, and last but not least attempts to keep Joey's butt from sticking out again. I thought we were done with the butt issue weeks ago, but apparently not. A butt like Joey's needs more than a few weeks' worth of work to be contained. It's an ongoing struggle much like my addiction to the mute button whenever Samantha speaks.
Too bloody raunchy for the old wally
It would never have occurred to me to Cha-Cha to “Push It” but Apolo and Julianne not only pull it off but really sell it. Their dance is high energy, fun, young and most of all a crowd pleaser that elicits loud screaming and enthusiastic applause from the audience. Bruno thinks they were like a shot of adrenaline and they could really “push it”. Carrie thinks they sold it, and felt it was hot and sexy. She says she felt a bit dirty watching it. Aren't you sorry now you didn't watch the show? Len says the feet were much better, but for him it was too raunchy. The audience boos loudly while Len repeats his insults saying there was barely and Cha-Cha but lots of gyrations and raunch. That right wally Len, he's such a bloody tosser, he buggers it all up gives them a 9 for hot raunchiness*. This gives them 29 for a grand total of 59 for the night. Bloody hell.
Shook up, bewigged and finally stirred
Dancing the Jive to “All Shook Up” dressed up as Elvis, complete with a white jumpsuit and black wig, Ian is really good. Somehow the costume, the music, or maybe it was Len's priceless advice during rehearsal, but something brought out the beast in Ian and he Jived like he never Jived before. Carrie is very impressed, thought Ian was transformed by the wig and he really danced like the Ian she's been waiting to see all this time. Len says he sold it tonight. Bruno doesn't know whether Ian was more Sanjaya or Liberace but tonight it worked for him and he finally had his breakthrough. They earn 30 points and Elvis leaves the building with 58 points.
From supreme ruler to lady
Next up are Laila and Maks, doing the Cha-Cha to “She's a Lady”. Both wearing magenta, with Maks missing about six buttons from his shirt (just the way I like it), they look great and deliver a believable Cha-Cha although I'm not really blown away by it. At least Laila is not dressed up like Queen Elizabeth or something. Maybe the costume department changed the locks after she abused their trust with that wannabe Cleopatra outfit earlier in the night. Len thinks there was far more content than in the past and he liked it. Bruno says Laila is a knockout, she hits all the steps with confidence and perfection. Carrie loved their technique and how it shined through. The lady tramples the competition with 30 points for the most proper 60 total for the night.
Capping the show and finally ending 579 minutes of filler and 30 minutes of dancing, are Joey and Kym. I'm happy to report neither one of them dressed up as either the Dalai Lama or a Greek god in a toga. There's always next week, I guess, but for now we get a straight up Jive to “Jump and Jive”. I love the Jive. It's so energetic, so lively and most of all it will keep you from falling asleep like nothing else and these two are doing a really good job of it. Bruno declares the Joey has “more flash than Vegas”, they were extraordinary for him. Carrie loved it, thought it was very good. Len says Joey's got something that everybody has, only his is bigger. He did say what that something was but I'm not going to tell you because I'm mean like that, and I like to keep you guessing**. Bigger must be better, because they land 30 points and walk away with a grand total of 60 points.
Since I don't like to drag things out anymore at this point, I'll just quickly tell you that Laila and Joey are tied at the top with 60, followed by Apolo with 59 and Ian with 58 points. Want to see them again? You should have voted! Tune in for the results show to see whether Julio Iglesias still has that giant mole on his face and some assorted dancing and lots and lots and lots of filler. However, if you decide to have a life, go out to the movies or a concert, just read Critical's sure to be amazing recap instead and save yourselves 55 minutes of crap for 5 minutes of results.
* Many thanks to K's hubby for all the authentic British insults.
** It was his personality. Get your minds out of the gutter.