10/18 DWTS 11 Recap: When Under Pressure – Eat an Onion or Wear a Monkey Suit
Recycled dances (except for the Tango) and TV show tunes garnish week 5 of Dancing With the *Stars* making this the third of the theme weeks. The couples will pick up a dance from weeks 1 through 4 that they have not yet performed, except for Florence and Corky, who will give us a preview of the upcoming Tango. The stage, audience and orchestra have been returned to their regular configuration and we await the moment when the couples make their way down the trippy stairs. We wait and we wait and…
The show opens with Brooke telling us that it is the halfway point in the competition and the pressure is on for our couples to step up their games. Tom then leads us into a half-hour of the judges recapping and critiquing the first four weeks.
Audrina – This girl is a bombshell. What a metamorphosis. In Latin she has to be more feisty. Tony needs to give her the hardest choreography. There is no reason she shouldn’t win.
Kurt – He is a true champion. He shows that dancing can look masculine. He needs more musicality in his upper body and to disguise his big hands by pulling them inward. He also has to learn to turn his toes out.
Florence – She is 76 years old and she’s still got it. She is a great entertainer. She has great timing. She can compete with anyone on her foot work; elegance, entertaining, beautiful footwork.
Rick - He is not just eye-candy, this guy can dance. He embraces the characters. He needs to dance to his height and is a little slow at times. He is one to watch.
Kyle – A star entertainer. A lack of experience so that nothing falls naturally from him. He seems to use his feet the same way he over-dances.
Bristol – She has got guts. She seems to be a natural mover, a lot of things a dancer knows naturally, but she is not a performer. At times her face goes blank. She needs to show blood, sweat and tears on the floor.
Carrie Ann critiques:
Brandy – She has all the ingredients to be a great dancer. She is one of the few who has the fire for the Latin dances and the elegance for the ballroom dances, but I see a lot of insecurity. Once she finds her confidence, she could go to the top of the leader board.
Jennifer – She is unstoppable because she is hot, hot, hot. She may be 50, but she has the sex appeal of a 26 year old. She is pushing herself to the edge with great choreography. She wears her emotions on her sleeve, but she needs to control them. She has set the judges’ expectations very high. If she doesn’t keep up that level, she has nowhere to go but down.
With the recap of the *Stars* progress complete, Tom declares: Let the Themes Begin!
Brandy and Maks Chmerkovskiy (BranDMC) dance the Quickstep to “I’ll Be There For You” The Rembrants Friends
Brandy: I love the Friends theme song because it describes everything a friend should be.
Maks: We’ve been finding each other and how to work together. This week we’re embracing the idea of friendship.
Brandy: We’ve gotten very close.
They start their Quickstep seated in the front row of the audience where he presents her with a giant lollipop which she shakes off and it’s left on the chair as he pulls her onto the floor for the dance. At then end of the dance, Brandy blows a kiss to the judges as they scramble back to their seats and she accepts the lollipop.
Carrie Ann: I see such an amazing bond. Not only are you trusting yourself, you’re trusting your partner.
Len: I’m so impressed with that, I’m not joking. It was without doubt your best dance.
Bruno: You found the right formula. I broke my pen trying to keep up it was going so fast.
Scores: CA 9 Len 9 Bruno 9 for a total of 27
Brooke: Brandi – who is your biggest competition?
Brandi: My nerves and my fears.
Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas (Florky) dance the Tango to The Brady Bunch theme song
Florence: The Brady Bunch touches peoples’ hearts in a way that I don’t think any other show has.
Corkey: (to Florence) You’re going to feel me pushing you much more this week than I ever have. Florence’s body is holding up much better than predicted. I’ve started thinking we can go farther and farther.
Florence invites Barry Williams (who played the eldest son on the show) to the studio. He always had a crush on her, but she isn’t going to confirm or deny any kind of relationship. He tells her that Corky is younger than Christopher Knight, who played a younger son.
During their Tango they do a strange head wobble back and forth to pick up some of the music bounces along with facial mugging.
Carrie Ann: I liked it. This showed off your elegance. I think it (the head movement) threw off your timing.
Len: I wish I was a sexy senior. (Florence kisses him.) You’ve got to week 5 on merit. Parts of that Tango were excellent. I think that is possibly your best dance so far.
Bruno: The beginning when you played it straight, it was a beautiful Tango. Then why go into a rag doll mode? I think you are good enough and it wasn’t necessary. You have the means to do something great.
Scores: CA 7 Len 7 Bruno 7 for a total of 21
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya (Kurtana) dance the Quickstep to Bewitched theme song
Kurt: Anna’s from Russia and we have a number of cultural differences.
Anna: I didn’t grow up here so I don’t know these shows.
Kurt explains Bewitched and she tries out the nose wiggle.
They begin their Quickstep in front of the celebriquarium and dance their way down to the floor. On the final low hold, Kurt drops her to the floor with a noticeable thud.
Carrie Ann: I just saw the spirit of Gene Kelly enter the body of Kurt Warner. You made that look like it was nothing and you had been doing it all of your life. Congratulations!
Len: After last week, the only way was up and up you have gone. Your posture was great. Well done.
Bruno: Oh…the magic is back. I like when you are bewitched. The timing…you managed to hit all the musical accents. You reflected all the twinkling effects in the music.
Scores: CA 8 Len 8 Bruno 8 for a total of 24
Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovalani (TorinA) dance the Rumba to “Unwritten” Natashia Bedingfield The Hills theme song
Tony: Bruno pointed out that he wants to see more passion from us. This is the Rumba, so this is the perfect time to bring that to the floor.
Audrina: Tony said dancing the Rumba is like making love on the dance floor…that’s a little awkward.
Tony: I told her a little secret Richard Gere once told me – eat some garlic and onion and it lessens the intensity of the scene.
Audrina gives this a try by chomping on a large white onion taking a couple of chews and spitting it out. “I’m never eating onion again.”
Tom: By the way…so far each of our three couples has achieved a personal best for the season, so no pressure, Tony.
Carrie Ann: This was gorgeous from the hips down, but it was sort of still and dead from the waist up. (She goes into squeaky mouse voice and says…) “I saw a little bit of a lift,” which caused Tony to frown and shake his head.
Len: An excellent Rumba. I thought you had nice feet and legs…nice hip action. I could see a connection.
Bruno: Technically you have improved. But…Rumba has to smolder. Don’t be plastic, be fantastic because you can.
Scores: CA 7 Len 8 Bruno 8 for a total of 23
Tom: Be sure to be on the look-out for Tony Dovolani’s new book, How to Use Syrup of Ipecac for Foreplay.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer (Schmurgles) dance the Foxtrot to Charlie’s Angels theme song
Kyle: This week I’m looking forward to focusing in and getting technique.
Lacey invites Kim and Chelsie into the studio to help him out with his technique. This threesome also plays into and with the Charlie’s Angels theme of their dance. They become Kyle’s Angels.
Tom: (referencing Kyle’s over-done stuck on mustache) You’re so Bosley.
Carrie Ann: I disagree with Bruno. You were a groovy Charlie. You had full body contact…you were definitely leading.
Len: It started bad and it gradually got worse and worse. I’m sorry. It was a joke. I couldn’t stand it. I thought it was terrible.
Bruno: One thing is for sure – you bring on the feel-good factor. Watching you is a joy; nevertheless, this was a Foxtrot possessed by disco fever…like Richard Pryor gone mad. There wasn’t enough “Foxtrot” in it.
Scores: CA 8 Len 5 Bruno 7 for a total of 20
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke (Fox-C) dance the Rumba to Hill Street Blues theme song
Rick: I get confused sometimes when I have to jump from point to point. I understand there is a short amount of time for Cheryl to imprint her instructions. Sometimes I don’t get it as quickly and it frustrates her.
Rick takes Cheryl to a LA Lakers basketball practice and receives an endorsement from Kobe Bryant on his quest for perfection. They then demonstrate a portion of the dance for coach, Phil Jackson, and he reminds Rick that Kurt is still in the competition.
Carrie Ann: (coyly) Officer, I would like to report a crime. It should be a crime that you can look that good and Rumba so well.
Len: There is an ease and elegance about your dancing, and for a big guy, you’ve got musical arms; but, I didn’t get a developing moment. It was more like a couple staying together for the good of the children…but, it was a good show.
Bruno: In a week you went from Megatron to mega smooth, man.
Scores: CA 8 Len 8 Bruno 8 for a total of 24
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas (Ballin) dance the Jive to The Monkees theme song
Mark: We are dancing to the theme song, The Monkees, a slapstick kind of humor and I’m going to do whatever I can do to bring that out of Bristol.
Bristol: Mark decided to bring me some Clown lessons.
A Clown class arrives at the studio and they, along with Bristol, are put through exaggerated facial expressions; though Mark notes that Bristol’s idea of sad is to laugh.
Wearing a red clown nose, Bristol says she is going to have fun and show the judges what she can do.
They open their dance dressed in monkey/gorilla suits with a cute pink tutu for Bristol and a pink tie for Mark. Then the suits are stripped off and they continue the dance in regular costumes.
Tom: A bold move.
Carrie Ann: I’m so happy for you. I saw a real transformation. But, you forgot a lot of the moves, but congratulations on your transformation.
Len: I liked the monkey suits. You should have kept them on a bit longer. It was good fun. I think I saw a degree of performance from you.
Bruno: Oh, my darling. I liked the gorillas doing the twist. That could have gone on forever because what I think is that you tried to perform and you were, but the technique went down the swammy. You lost timing, it wasn’t sharp enough.
Scores: CA 6 Len 6 Bruno 6 for a total of 18
In the celebriquarium, Bristol tells us that the dress rehearsal went perfect.
Brooke: (who wishes Bristol? A Happy Birthday) asks her: What did you think of the Jive?
Bristol: I hated it. The monkey suit made it more fun for me.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough (Jenougher) dance the Foxtrot to “Love and Marriage” Frank Sinatra Married…With Children theme song
Derek, who is feeling the half-way point pressure, causes a bit of a tiff in rehearsal. Jennifer leaves for some air after telling him to control his temper. When she returns they work out the semantics of temper and continue to rehearse.
Jennifer: This week with the Foxtrot, my body is getting somewhat of a respite; but I’ve had so many weeks away from ballroom…what if I can’t get it?
Derek: Jennifer takes things way too personally.
Jennifer: If we’re going to make it through, we’re going to have to find a better way to work together.
Carrie Ann: It was good; it wasn’t nearly your best. I think what was lacking were a few times your eyes went blank. I want to see you come back strong because you were a little out of sync.
Len: The actual dance is lovely, but for me, it’s all a bit too theatrical. (Tom: This from the man who liked the monkey suits.) You’re such a nice dancer that you don’t need to waste bars before you dance…just get out there and show us how you dance.
Bruno: It was like watching the perfect housewife; pristine, elegant and beautifully danced. You created the look of the fifties. It was like being back in time – beautiful.
Scores: CA 8 Len 8 Bruno 9 for a total of 25
Leader Board for week 5:
Did you sing along, or at least hum? Next week is Rock and Roll theme week, so get your air guitars ready. In the meantime you can catch MFWalkoff’s recap of Tuesday’s fillers and elimination.