For weeks, I’ve been alternately complaining about Kate Gosselin and then clapping my hands with delight over how terrifically horrible her dancing was. Now that she’s finally gone, I feel, well, a bit sad. Who’s left to make fun of? Tom is a bit of a dolt, but he’s not consistently bad. I’ve already decided to largely ignore Brooke this season, so that’s out. For the record, Brooke is still absolutely horrible. If she says “Thanks for sharing that” to one more person, I’m going to lose it. So, my only hope is that someone really tanks or all the hot men on the show dance shirtless for the rest of the season…..or both.
This week, the couples will tackle either the Argentine Tango or the Samba. They’ll also be performing in a Swing dance marathon. You know, since last year’s marathon went so well. I’m sure Derek has been working on an equally puzzling and slightly lewd move to top his crotch head bob move with Joanna last year.
Jake and Chelsie
Last week, Jake and Chelsie earned their highest scores of the season. Apparently, dropping trou is the key to success on this show. Bruno probably would have given a 10 if Jake’s pants had stayed off for the entire routine. To get Jake in the spirit of the Samba, Chelsie takes him to meet some Samba dancers. Jake takes this as his cue to dress like Carmen Miranda.
Perhaps nudity is what Jake needs to stay in the competition. He takes the stage with Chelsie wearing about half of a shirt. Lord only knows what he may wear next week. Their Samba isn’t bad, but Jake is WAY hammy and over-the-top. He’s just trying too hard to get the audience behind him. There’s a little stumble near the steps in front of the judges at the end of the routine, but they manage to recover.
Len says Jake is showing more confidence in his dancing. This performance was more polished and there weren’t any glaring mistakes [except for the stumble right in front of you less than a minute ago, Len]. What was lacking throughout the performance was rhythm. Bruno agrees that it lacked rhythm and bounce, which are essential in the Samba. Carrie Ann notes that Jake is always pushing himself to the max…sometimes to the point of falling. To be at the top, he’ll need to be able to connect with the music and have it flow through him.
Carrie Ann: 7
Evan and Anna
Evan says it’s fun dancing with Anna, but he knows they’ll have to work hard to stay on top of the competition. Evan’s working hard on getting down the hip action required in the Samba, but it’s not easy for him. Because they also have the Swing marathon this week and are able to lifts, they start working on that as well. Luckily, they put down floor mats because Anna manages to smack Evan’s head on the floor pretty hard. He admits he feels kind of woozy, so they go to the hospital, where they learn that Evan has a mild concussion. His head wrapped in bandages, Evan tells Anna that the next step is the psych ward.
Figure skating: it does a body good.
Is it hot in here? Dayum. Evan’s wearing a shirt cut down to there. It’s sexy and elegant and terrific and the crowd seems to like it too. Of course the judges will hate it because it was elegant, but I’ve got no complaints.
Bruno warns Evan that he’s going to be hard on them. Evan’s got good, lyrical lines, but they don’t work for this dance. The Samba requires a different kind of action,. Evan’s legs were turned out, but they shouldn’t have been: that stops the hips from moving the right way. Carrie Ann says that, with new dance styles, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. The dance was so much fun to watch, but Evan’s lines didn’t suit the dance. It just didn’t come together. Len claims he doesn’t want to be nasty and then calls it Evan’s worst dance. It was just too balletic and didn’t suit him. Whatever.
Carrie Ann: 7
Total: (sadly) 21/30
Niecy and Louis
In rehearsal, Niecy asks Louis if anyone’s ever done a funny Argentine Tango. Louis confirms that, no, they’ll be the first. Louis says that legs and feet are the most important thing this week and he wants to show the judges Niecy can dance well, technically.
Louis begins the routine wearing a white suit, with a rose between his teeth. Niecy grabs the flower and starts eating it. Ah, this must be the comedy part. There’s some slapstick with her faux kicking him in the groin and it ends with Louis teasing Niecy with a cookie and then stuffing it into his face. Yeah, the big girl likes food. That’s hilarious. Through the first part of the judges’ comments, Louis is coughing up a storm. I’ll assume this is punishment for his crack about knowing how Niecy feels when she brings those cheeseburgers up to her mouth. I normally really like Louis, but that was a bit much.
Carrie Ann says it was nice to see Niecy really dancing. She’s come far since last week. Her lines were strong and there was a new attitude in her body: she was definitely in the zone. Still, they didn’t need the comedy in the routine. Len liked the comedy part of the dance and didn’t think it interfered with the dance. With the Argentine Tango, the story is that of a lady of the night trying to get money from a man: Niecy was just trying to get food. Len then says that it’s obvious Niecy is an enthusiastic eater. Really? When did it become acceptable to make comments like that? Bruno tells Niecy that, if she treats men like that, she needs to keep away from his lunch box. Bruno says it’s obvious. The dance lacked some intensity and that may have been a result of how hard she worked on the technique.
Carrie Ann: 7
Erin and Maks
Erin says the hardest part of the Samba is keeping up with Maks, but she thinks she’ll be okay shaking her hips. Unfortunately, she’s still over-analyzing everything. Maks says that it isn’t affecting Erin’s ability to learn, but it is affecting his health: he’s sure he’ll be institutionalized after this season is over.
Erin and Maks take the stage to Beethoven’s 5th….okay wait, it’s actually “Fifth of Beethoven” from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack….no wait, it’s apparently “When I Get You Alone” by Robin Thicke. Is this a sample of a sample then played by a questionable TV band? Erin is wearing 8 million blue feathers and Maks is in a tux….for the moment. In short order, he removes the jacket. Then Erin rips off his sleeves, after which he decides “The Hell with it” and chucks the shirt. I’m not complaining, although it does make it hard to concentrate. Dear God. Did Erin design that costume? They should let her do that every week.
Len the Grouchy says that from week 1, he’s given them a 7 every week and they’ll get another one this week. She should be getting 8’s, 9’s and 10’s by doing a proper dance. Len is fed up with shirts coming off: he thinks Erin is too good for that. She should be competing with Nicole and Evan. Bruno argues with Len’s assessment: Erin did dance all the way through. The placement of her arms was spot-on and it was an exciting routine. Carrie Ann says the Samba is one of the most difficult dances to get and Erin nailed it.
Carrie Ann: 9
Chad and Cheryl
Chad thinks he’ll like the Argentine Tango: he says it’s all about hips and chests pressed together. Blech. I’m just less and less impressed with him as the season goes on. Sorry Chad fans.
Chad dances the Argentine Tango pretty well, but it still looks like he’s just going through the motions. It’s like there’s a fog around him. There’s just no enthusiasm. He does the steps and does them pretty well, but there’s no connection to the music. It’s just totally forgettable. Cheryl looks fantastic though.
Bruno calls this the revenge of Ochocinco. He says the dance was strong, powerful and demented and says Chad proved he can dance. He was like a growling panther…..Chad, not Bruno. Carrie Ann admits she was hard on Chad last week because he was not dancing well. He really nailed the dance tonight. Len says that, on this show, you either grow or you go: Chad grew tonight. Meh.
Carrie Ann: 8
Nicole and Derek
Nicole and Derek were positively shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) over the tens they received from the judges last week. Seriously. Nicole says she’s excited to bust out her Ricky Martin/Gloria Estefan moves for the Samba and I wonder if she’s a little confused. Turns out, she thought they would be dancing the Salsa. Quickly, she finds out that the Samba is a very technical dance and she’s not having any fun. Derek thinks Nicole overanalyzes things because she’s stressed out about staying on top.
Wearing enough red to blow my TV’s picture tube, Nicole and Derek dance their Samba to Ricky Martin’s “Maria.” Honestly, most of it is just a big blur. It’s okay, but sort of awkward at times – there’s something about Nicole’s knees that doesn’t look quite right. Sometimes she just looks too squatty with the bent knees. Not sexy. Not bad, but I’m still not a fan. At least Derek kept his shirt on….mostly. I’m sure Carrie Ann and Bruno will slobber all over them.
Carrie Ann shouts out “Opa!”…because Greece is a Latin country, right? She says the only thing she can find to criticize is Nicole’s facial expressions at various times during the dance. Len says the difficulty and performance level were great. Unfortunately, this was not a proper Samba as it was missing some key Samba steps. Bruno thinks the dance was superlative. Nicole and Derek have nothing to worry about.
Carrie Ann: 9
Pam and Damian
Pam claims it doesn’t bother her to be in the bottom two, but Dam knows it does: she’s just putting on a brave face. With their next dance, the Argentine Tango, they can do lifts, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, Pam is having major trouble with the lifts because she can’t seem to relax going into them. Still, she’s determined to really dig in and do it this week.
Pam and Damian and her horrid brown wig dance their Argentine Tango to an instrumental version of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Is nothing sacred? On the whole, it’s just strange. The lifts are okay, but they feel a bit awkward – maybe Pam didn’t relax enough. Her legs just don’t look good: none of the moves feel complete and sharp.
Len says the Argentine Tango is about seduction and Pam can do that very well. There was a nice smoldering intensity, but it was a bit scruffy. Bruno crows about this being another week with another great character: Pam plays it so well. He says Pam isn’t just dancing: she’s living the part. Carrie Ann says Pam is unquestionably sexy, but she wanted to see more technique in the legs. Carrie Ann loved the overall look and the upper body looked great, but the lower body just wasn’t up to par.
Carrie Ann: 7
Swing Dance Marathon
Our couples hit the floor to the musak version of “In the Mood.” Inexplicably, several couples think “Swing Dance” means you dress like an over-sexed Raggedy Ann doll. Honestly. The entire thing is a bit frenetic and hard to watch. All these seasons and they still don’t know how to shoot dancing. The first couple eliminated gets 4 additional points, the next couple gets 5 points and this will continue until the last couple standing gets 10 additional points. Of course, Nicole and Derek win. Did you think it would go any other way?
Here’s the order in which the couples were eliminated, along with their final scores:
Jake/Chelsie: 21/30 + 4 = 25
Niecy/Louis: 21/30 + 5 = 25
Evan/Anna (huge injustice there): 21/30 + 6 = 27
Chad/Cheryl: 24/30 + 7 = 31
Pam/Damian: 22/30 + 8 = 30
Erin/Maks: 25/30 + 9 = 34
Nicole/Derek: 26/30 + 10 = 36
Apparently, points weren’t deducted for costumes
Coming soon, the results show recap from faboo MFWalkoff, where we'll find out who has danced their last dance.