After weeks and weeks of whittling down the field, we're finally left with six low caliber F-list celebrities battling it out to be voted Most Popular. Notice that I didn't say “best dancer” because, really, that's not what we're talking about here. The show has always been a thinly veiled excuse for has -beens, and more interestingly never-beens and never-will-bes, to breath life into their sagging careers. Some I didn't mind too much, others just made me groan out loud. Especially when they managed to butter up a fan base long enough to squeeze into the top six thus forcing me to fast forward so much that I'm flirting with carpal tunnel syndrome. I should sue somebody for that. It's one thing to watch excruciatingly bad dancing for a couple of weeks, and it's quite another to be tortured with it for months till the bloody, painful end. Nevertheless, there is a twisted kind of truth in this outrageously false kind of democracy that is audience voting: you get exactly what you pay, or in this case text message, online-vote and phone-vote for. Last week's results show was ample proof of that.
This week we get a double dose of celebrity dancing goodness since our starlets are tested both with a Ballroom and a Latin dance routine. I have my finger on the fast forward button and my keyboard sharpened, so let's get to it. I promise to spare you none of the pain.
Go forth my son, you are the Numero Uno Ballroom dancing car racer in the world!
Helio and Julianne are doing the Tango and the Samba this week. Two dances in one week may be a tad much for him, especially since the Samba is not a favorite with Helio. When the going gets tough, the tough are shown video of their family back home in Brazil to encourage them to fight, fight to the death, or until such time as they become a household name. Will this tear-jerking tactic yield results helping Helio to shake his hips faster for the Samba? It remains to be seen. Their first effort is the Tango set to “Jean Genie” which – surprise, surprise - is not a Tango, no matter how badly that unseen crooner is trying to make it into one. However after watching a Foxtrot set to the Star Wars theme, really, nothing can phase me. I'm anxiously waiting for somebody to finally Cha Cha to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Now, that would make my week! As for Helio's Tango, there are few words that would aptly describe how middle-of-the-road it was. I did like the end though when the music mercifully stopped.
Len saw some drive and attack but he didn't see a proper Tango hold. Bruno thinks they're a good combination, but feels they need to polish their presentation. Carrie liked it saying that she's younger and may like the not-really-Tango better than her elderly judges-in-crime. The judges are getting pickier now that we're down to the final six, or so they claim. Their scores are: 9-8-8 for a total of 25.
Playing the family card
Marie, who is inexplicably still here, is dancing the Cha Cha and the Quickstep this week. She is this year's Teflon contestant, the kind who could dance the Chicken dance wearing a Michelin Man suit, with both arms in plaster casts, to the tune of Silent Night, and she'd still make it to next week. Why practice your steps when you can have a family reunion instead? All of Marie's eight kids show up for rehearsal and have fun with Jonathan. Maybe next week it'll be puppies and the week after that it will be a visit to the local maternity ward with cute babies. Dressed in sequined beige WWII uniform-type outfits, Marie and Jonathan come out dancing the Quickstep to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. It's an entertaining routine, but not quite quick enough to be a good Quickstep. Marie ends the spectacle sitting on the judges' table giving a kiss to a delighted Len.
Donnie Osmond, after beaming and clapping in the audience, makes a desperate attempt to grab the spotlight running across the dance floor to give a kiss to Marie. Obviously his ploy worked because I mentioned his name, which I'm already regretting. Bruno says they got it right. Carrie thought it was wonderful. Len felt Marie brought the most twist to the dance, whatever that means. Their scores: 10-9-9 for a total of 28. Marie launches into some story about her mother and WWII and uniforms and haircuts and whatnot, and aren't you glad that I usually spare you the Samantha interviews? You're welcome.
Step but not quite Quick
Next up are Maks and Mel, who are dancing the Foxtrot and the Paso Doble tonight. However, Mel is swamped with two dances and the Spice Girls tour rehearsals, forcing them to practice their dances late at night. The usual frustrations, such as time constraints and lack of focus, are in evidence again. Maks fears that learning two dances will be tough for Mel and because expectations are so high, they may not make it this week. Their first number is the Foxtrot, set to “Jimmy Mack”. Mel is wearing an unflattering pant outfit. The delivery is not smooth, and the choreography is too simplistic and Maks had to push her through for most of the dance. Carrie felt they were out of sync and not near last week's perfection. Len enjoyed Mel's posture, but felt the footwork wasn't good enough. Bruno agrees about the footwork and they dispense their score accordingly with three 8s for a total of 24 points.
I felt like the guy in “25 minutes to go”...
The Cha Cha and the Quickstep are the two dances Jane needs to face this week. In case you didn't know, Jane was rushed off the set last week when she became ill with food poisoning. She did survive the elimination though. She and Tony will be dancing their Quickstep to Walk the line which just so happens to be a favorite of Jane's since it just so happens that she was a very close friend of Johnny Cash's. Ah, what a coincidence! Marie's got the childhood nostalgia crowd, now Jane is going for the country demographic. Nobody is targeting rock fans on this show... for which I'm eternally grateful. I don't think I could survive it if somebody decided to Jive to Mudhoney's Touch Me I'm Sick. Wearing what looks like a dress with a skirt made entirely out of strips of toilet paper, Jane and Tony do the Quickstep. Like all of Jane's dances so far it falls into the polite-but-wooden category and is lacking in the speed department as well. I helped them out with that by fast forwarding to the end. The whole thing looked so much better that way. Len bemoans the lack of precise footwork and body contact. Bruno was distracted by the toilet paper dress and feels there needed to be more polished details. Carrie liked the execution but wanted to be excited by the performance. All I wanted was to stay awake long enough to see their scores which were 8s across the board for a total of 24.
Runaway water nymph
90210 Kellie is feeling all sorts of crazy pressure this week. Not only does she have to practice faking a hot love connection with young Derek in the Tango, but she must do that while learning to project a sweet romance with him in the Viennese Waltz. No easy task, especially since it seems Jennie did not get any kind of gimmicky support this week. No cutesy family visit, no vote-courting illnesses, no cheesy friendships with dead country stars, and I'm willing to bet her brother isn't in the audience yelling “Yoohoo! Over here!” to the cameraman while she's trying to dance. Their music is “Runaway” by The Corrs, which is one of those selections that's oddly fitting. Every once in a while the producers make a mistake and accidentally pick a song that fits the dance. Shocking! Their Waltz starts off a bit rough, coordination is shaky at the beginning, but they hit their stride a third of the way in and deliver a strong, elegant finish. Bruno feels that Jennie is as “fluid as a water nymph” most of the time but they need to work on consistency. Carrie didn't like the broken lines, and feels Jennie needs to keep a strong core. Len felt there weren't enough Viennese Waltz moves for him and they were not in the proper hold. All in all it's 8-9-9 for a total of 26.
Why can't they stop with the musical insults?
Soap hot bod, Cameron, was almost axed last week which would have been a bad thing. I don't like it when my eye candy gets eliminated. This week, with both the Quickstep and the Jive, the pressure is really on for Cameron, who describes a typical week of juggling his soap commitment in New York, his rehearsals in both NY and LA and the insane pace he must maintain to fit everything into his life. Their first dance is the Quickstep, their music is Why can't I be you by The Cure. I can only hope Robert Smith is not watching the show. Edyta is elegant in a flowing red dress that shockingly covers most of her while Cameron is wearing a sedate white shirt, vest and tie. Their Quickstep starts off with them being strangely apart, it is a bit skippy in places but it looks more like a Quickstep. Carrie loved Cameron's exuberance and their form but pointed out a few missteps at the end. Len didn't like the fact that they dance out of hold, especially at the beginning and the end. He wasn't a fan of the middle either. Bruno felt that Cameron was so wired he forgot the steps. Triple 8 makes 24 points total.
This is where you go and take two aspirin
Here's where we usually part ways, mostly with me begging you to come back next week. However, from now on Dancing is doubling our (dis)pleasure and serving up two helpings of almost-dancing served with music that has been horribly mistreated and abused. Tonight's show is not over. We're in the middle of the Twilight Zone where Marie is in the lead and Donnie will probably strip naked before the end of the show in order to make the sixth page of the Enquirer one more time before everybody remembers that he can't sing, can't act and is completely annoying. The Latin round is next.
Latin mixed nuts
Helio's next dance is the Samba. Julianne is wearing what looks to be a small dead furry animal on her chest and a shiny blue grass micro miniskirt. They Samba to a song called “Candela” which seems to be okay for a Samba. It's got that hot Latin beat, which is good. It's a decent routine which ends a bit awkwardly with Helio sprawled on the floor on his back and Julianne standing over him. It looked like maybe they missed a lift. Bruno thought he did well, Carrie liked his Latin delivery and Len kicks Bush while he's down by injecting a silly joke about Texas and presidents. I enjoyed it, but then I'm easily amused. All in all he thought it was fantastic.9-9-9 = 27. Their final total is 52 points.
Fit for the red light
Next up is Marie's Cha Cha Cha to “Venus”. Groan. Marie, dressed in some hideous orange-red and black concoction that hurts my eyes, does her best to shake her ass and promenades around a lot, probably to avoid actually dancing. I did notice that there is significantly less of Marie than there used to be at the start of the season. Hah! Looks like being on the show is just an elaborate substitute for Jenny Craig. Brilliant! The camera pans to her ubiquitous brother at the end of their flat, forgettable routine. I swear I'm going to need therapy after this show. One more glimpse of this Donnie guy's smarmy botoxed mug and I'm throwing my TV out the window. Carrie thought it was fun but lacked content. Len didn't like all the “messing about” but makes allowances for a difficult week and two routines that needed to be learned. How sweet of him. Bruno liked the character but he feels she peaked early on. I must have
fast forwarded through thatmissed that peak. 8-8-8 = 24 for a total of 52.
After Marie's AARP Cha Cha that I just had to slog through, I'm happy to see that Mel is up next. She is wearing a black floor length duster over a black bikini and a black mesh body suit. Maks is in black as well: a black sleeveless vest and no shirt. I can tell they are going to dish up a quality Paso Doble. Their music is Free Your Mind by “En Vogue”. Their dance is entertaining, edgy and sexy. Len approves of the passion and loved all of it. Bruno describes it as an “adrenaline charged dominatrix” routine and says “Top that!”. Carrie thinks they just kicked some serious booty. Backstage Maks says the dance was dedicated to Sabrina and reveals a cheetah paw stamped over one of his nipples. Samantha coos that she hasn't seen so much solidarity towards a departed cast member since... well, never. They get all 10s for a total of 30. Their big total is 54 points.
Well-mannered but spark-free
Jane is up next. Dressed in a golden fringed and sequined barely there confection, she looks good. However, their Cha Cha to the Shoop Shoop Song is too slow, her neck is stiff and I'm bothered by all her fake stage smiles. Bruno drools over Jane's costume and says that it was a well-executed Cha Cha. Carrie says she looked amazing in the gold dress and did very well, however she'd have liked to see a bit more from her. Len wanted fireworks and the “wow” factor. Their scores: 8-9-9 for a total of 26 points for a grand total of 50 points.
Jennie's next dance is the Rumba set to Fallen. They're both dressed in white, looking elegant and sexy. This is a dance that suits them well, and they manage to convey the passionate spirit of the Rumba quite well. Jennie's movements are fluid and elegant and I Derek's choreography is smooth and precise, incorporating some lovely twirls and poses. Carrie feels they made a great comeback. Len loved the romance and tells Jennie that she is the only person not convinced that she is a great dancer. Bruno gushes that for him it was “incredibly satisfying”. He felt the pacing was excellent and it was the best dance they've done yet. Derek and Jennie are both ecstatic, especially after seeing their scores which are: 9-9-10 for a total of 28, bringing their nightly total of 53 points.
Big Apple boy makes good
Cameron's Jive closes the show. Their music is Boy from New York city. Edyta is wearing an outfit that's somewhere between Catholic schoolgirl and 80's aerobics fanatic, complete with leg warmers. The Jive is not an easy dance but Cameron really works it and they deliver a very good closing number. It kept me awake! Len raves, saying it was fantastic. Bruno feels that Cameron being so tall must have had real difficulty with the tricky Jive kicks, but he did an excellent job of it. Carrie thinks Cameron has found his inner dancer and did a great job. They earn all 9s for a total of 27 and a grand total of 51 points.
After a seemingly interminable night filled with some excellent highs and some dismal lows, Mel and Maks lead the pack with 54 points, while Jane and Tony are at the bottom with 50 points. Hopefully the viewers skim from the bottom of the barrel this week. Wouldn't that be a shocker if somebody who deserves to go home actually goes home. I may faint from the shock of it...
See me here next week for another
five and a half hours of agonysparkling night of competition and don't forget to read MotherSister's take on the losers' night.
Should I drink vodka or tequila while recapping next week's 748 dances? PM me.