So, Latin Night. A night of chills, thrills, and spills! Tom implies that last night was the sexiest thing ever until Marie ruined it all; unfortunately Marie will replace Jennie as the Girl That Fell, and so it’ll be her dramatic swoon that we see over and over again from now until Jane or Sabrina bites it. But don’t let the threat of repeated humiliation scare you away! Tonight, the results are actually full of fun, suspense, and excitement. Okay, maybe not full of, but I myself only fast-forwarded through half the filler, and that right there is saying something.
Tom and Samantha dispense with the idle chatter this week and drop us directly back into the past, and without a DeLorean even! They’re miracle workers, I tell ya. We’re reminded of Mark and Kym’s middling samba, and Jane and Tony’s boring rumba. Cameron and Edyta were boiling hot, which I guess explains their decision not to wear clothes, but Jennie and Derek lost steam somewhere along the way. Sabrina and Mark’s sultry rumba set a lot of tonuges wagging, while Helio and Julianne continued to lose ground because the judges didn’t feel any chemistry from them. Mel and Maks were the real standouts of the night with their fantastic 29-point-earning samba; the score thrills Mel, but Maks is more excited about having met the Spice Girls. And we get the second replaying of the Faint Footage in only the first five minutes of show, which is the show’s way of saying that Marie fainted. She also danced at some point, but that doesn’t have anything to do with anything.
Mel and Maks get the encore this week, which is great for many reasons, not the least of which is that their samba is set to a Spice Girls hit! Who doesn’t like being plunged back into the mid-90s for a bit? I myself do a little Macarena every week, just to remind myself that no matter how embarrassed I might be at any given time, there was always a point when I looked even stupider. Anyway, M&M’s dance is just as energetic and dazzling as it was last night, and since the pressure’s off for the week, they both look like they’re having even more fun tonight than on Monday.
Jennifer Lopez is tonight’s celebrity guest. She sings her new single in a gold sheath covered by a huge pleated poncho, because she wants people to gossip about whether she’s pregnant or not. Job well done, J-Lo. Job well done. The performance is sharp and glitzy high-energy, and the whole things is way fun and entertaining as long as you don’t really listen. Her hip-hoppin’ dancers are awesome too, just so you know. Len.
Our requisite audience reactions prove once again that producers tell these people what to say, because we get a bunch of folks right away talking about last night as the sexiest! night! evah! even though most of the dances were firmly on the meh side of things. But hey, there’s my old Celebrity Duets fake-crush
Carlton BanksAlfonso Ribeiro! He is single-handedly to thank for my not having muted this whole segment. Like most folks, Alfonso expresses his shock at Marie’s fainting, and that signals another opportunity to play the Faint Footage, again slowed down for our further enjoyment and edification. Some people, like me and Heather Mills, apparently, thought for a moment that she was joking around, but Mrs. Brady gives her kudos for popping right up and getting on with the show. Tori Spelling is yet another 90210 alum who didn’t know that Jennie could dance, so what in the world did they do during all that backstage down time? Or is that something I really shouldn’t ask? I’ll let it go. People are feeling mucho heato between Sabrina and Mark and Cameron and Edyta, but we won’t count our scandalous affairs before they’re hatched. And finally, some lady rather bluntly says that Mark needs to go home now. What is she, his wife?
Slightly Fuller Filler
Surprise, surprise. Sabrina and Mark and Mel and Maks are our first safe couples of the week. Samantha is chatting backstage with Marie and Jonathan, and Helio and Julianne. She of course asks Marie about her health and so on, and she says for the millionth time that she is just fine. She also thanks everyone who sent her well-wishes. Jonathan offers his sympathy to Marie and all the other dancers for the unbelievable amount of energy and effort they’re expending this season. Samantha then goes on to Foot-in-Mouth Moment One of our show this week, when she asks Helio and Julianne if they’re satisfied hitting rock-bottom with their worst scores ever. Like they’re going to say, “Oh yeah. It was always our plan to suck hosewater. We’re just waiting on the negative numbers to show up; then we’ll really be happy.” Helio plays it off with a race car analogy because he has a better tolerance for fools than I do, and he is adorable.
For reasons I can’t quite make out, a troupe of pros come out now and dance a kind of cool, but kind of frenetic lindy to some jarringly anachronistic rock song. Yay.
And now Jenny from the Block is back to sing “Let’s Get Loud” in another rumor-mongering, tent-like ensemble, while the pros we know and love work it out on the dance floor. J-Lo even comes down to join them for a moment. This is the kind of filler I like, what with the having to do with the show and the dancers and all. But I really don’t know how to recap it. There’s some boy-girl action, then boys on stage with Jenny, then girls center-floor with chairs, and then they all get together again in an explosion of awesomeness. Man, but dance is fun when people can dance.
Next we get a clip package of the pros talking about their methods of choreography, which, again, is good stuff. Derek starts us off not so helpfully by saying the key to choreographing a good routine is to be a good choreographer, and I think that says a lot about him. Like how he shouldn’t say much, ever. Kym likes to work out an entire routine by herself before she can teach it, but Maks likes to do it on the spot in the studio with his partner. Edyta needs to listen to the music a bunch of times before she can know what she wants to do with it. Kym likes to vary technique and flash for better balance, and Julianne goes for the wow! factor at strategic spots. Maks likes to focus on the relationship between the dancers in his routines instead of the big money moves. Tony and Kym wax generously about playing to their partners’ strenghts and hiding their weaknesses, and Julianne believes similarly that her job is to know what her partner can’t do, and to push him to master the things she knows he can do. Derek and Edyta love the compliments, and Jonathan loves the cheers, but it’s the hugest relief to all when the dance is finally over. Choreography is hard work, y’all!
Stuff and Nonsense
When that’s over, we find out that Cameron and Edyta are also safe. Everyone else claps nervously. They could definitely take a few lessons from pageant girls in pasting on those fake smiles while the cameras are panning.
Also in need of lessons? Samantha, in On-Air Interviewing 101. She brings us back from break with Foot-in-Mouth Moment number two of the evening as she asks Mel and Maks who they think sucked the most and will be in the bottom two. No one in their right mind is going to answer that, you ninny. Even I, bleary-eyed at 4:30 AM on a Saturday before my first cup of tea would know better than that. (And you’d better know to cover your head, face, and stomach if you’re really waking me up at 4:30 AM on a Saturday to ask me some tomfool question about a dancing show. Just a friendly tip.) Mel covers by coolly saying that no one wants to see anyone leave because they’re like a family. Samantha nods gamely before awkwardly calling them a happy, dysfunctional family. Yeah, I think she might want to be fired. Maks gets the chance to say how proud he is of Mel, and then Mark gets to say something more about how happy he is to be there.
Next is a clip show of how busy all of the “stars” are. Helio’s racing, Cameron’s acting, Mel’s touring, Jennie’s mothering, Sabrina and Marie are singing, Jane’s painting, and Mark’s billionaire-ing. Wait, I don’t know about that last one. But anyway, busy, busy, busy. The stress levels are rising indeed. Helio is rolling with the punches, but Mel is finding it hard to keep her body and mind on course. Cameron finds the pressure of the competition insane, but the only pressure Mark feels is what he puts on himself. Jennie’s learning to believe in herself, and Sabrina is willing to push herself to the limit to win. Jane thinks she’s got the goods to win, and Cameron’s willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top.
Well, he’s safe for this week, so he’s got that going for him. But who just did all that talking about pushing and working and winning for nothing? Mark! He and Kym are our first couple in the bottom two; the red light of doom washes over them as they nod like it’s all right. Once back from break, Marie and Jonathan and Helio and Julianne are announced as safe, leaving Jane and Tony in the bottom two. This is news to everyone, especially Helio and Julianne, who take a little moment before they realize their safe-ness. Carrie Ann is shocked to see Jane and Tony in the bottom two. Bruno thinks it’d be sad to lose Mark. Len gets the tough question and says he hopes to see Jane back next week. Someone had his straightforward juice this morning.
Tom orders the band to get the “scary music” playing so he can announce which couple will be doomed to no longer appear on a weekly televised amateur ballroom dance show. Fate, people! It’s serious business. Perspective is not. With hardly any shilly-shallying around it at all, Tom cuts Mark and Kym loose. Mark seems disappointed to be leaving; his voice is sad, which makes me a little sad to see him go. But, he lost 30 pounds on this wild ride, so there’s something. Kym says the regular stuff about having a wonderful time working with Mark and so on. He takes a moment to give words of support to the rest of the crew and then shakes hands with the judges before taking to the floor one last time.
Next week everyone must try something new, plus a group dance too! Who’ll get winded before the night is out? Who will bump into whom? Will Bruno be able to think of two ways to liken Jane to a fine wine on a crisp winter’s night? Don’t worry, your questions will have answers, as the divine MsFroggy will be here to tell you all about it.
The Macarena. Awesomely stupid, or stupidly awesome? Cast your votes here.