I like to start off my recaps with good news whenever possible, and for this week I've got two things for you: 1) Wayne has been dispatched back to Vegas where he belongs, and 2) Samantha is back from maternity leave. Okay, well, the second one might or might not precisely be good news, depending on how you look at it. Seeing as how I rarely mention Samantha anyway, I'm not terribly affected by this return to the good ole' formula. I'd like to say I'll miss Drew, but deceiving you right in the first paragraph would be highly unethical on my part. I usually only start making up stuff around the 3rd or 4th paragraph, when things start to become boring and I fear you all might fall asleep.
For the first time the Viennese Waltz will be danced in competition. The other dance tonight is the Paso Doble. Let's get to it.
Take two Tylenol PM or watch Mark waltz.
Mark jots down notes while learning the Waltz. For what purpose, only he knows and the producers who probably came up with this idea. Kym wants him to feel the dance and asks him to dance with his eyes closed while wearing a contraption that helps him maintain the Viennese hold. They're both hoping for a breakthrough week. I'm not sure how that's going to happen with the music they were given, which is a Robbie Williams piece called “Mr. Bojangles”. Is it a Viennese Waltz? No, but surprisingly it does a good job of not quite putting me to sleep, which I guess is something since the performance is such a yawn and a half. Lucky for you I stayed awake long enough to catch the judges' comments which were mixed. Len declares that this was Mark's best dance. Bruno liked the start but felt Mark lost the rhythm somewhere along the middle and was more like Big Foot in a suit. Carrie was proud that Mark refrained from singing the lyrics this week but thinks that Bruno is right. My take is that he probably just felt that mouthing lyrics like “dance Mr. Bojangles, dance” was too embarrassing and not worth alienating Carrie. They get 7-8-7 for total of 22 points.
I'll have this dance with a side of fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Prone to giggles, our resident Cheetah girl has a hard time keeping rehearsal serious even though they need to concentrate on striking a better balance between fast and slow this week. This is not easy when their dance is the Paso Doble, which requires a certain somber attitude and more than the usual measure of control. Dancing to that evergreen classic that puts you immediately in mind of the Paso Doble (if you happen to be heard of hearing), “You spin me round” by Dead or Alive, Sabrina does a good job of appearing fierce throughout the dance. In fact she looks like she has murderous thoughts about Mark, the way she's glaring at him with her fangs bared the whole time. You're supposed to have a passionate, smoldering, intense look, not an expression that screams “I'm a serial killer”. Oh, well. Otherwise the dance is fast and quite good, although I felt it was a bit behind the music till the very end. However, I was distracted by the Hannibal Lecter flashbacks I was having, so I may not have payed too much attention. Bruno saw a “lynx on the prowl” and thought she was incredible. Carrie felt power and passion and thinks their dance was perfection. Len couldn't find anything wrong with their dance. They score perfect tens, for a total of 30 points, the first perfect score of the competition.
Neo-Impressionist Abstract Expressionism with fairies. Or something.
After a difficult week on a personal level but a quite successful one on the show, Jane tackles the Waltz this week. She is a painter and as a painter, she'd like to turn their dance into an Impressionist painting, full of magic and shadows. I'm expecting a sharp and sweet Renoir of a rehearsal, instead we get a dumbed down Pollock crossed with a kindergarten Kandinsky when Jane and Tony dance outdoors on a big white sheet of paper, with their feet dipped in paint. Some people would frame this and put it on their living room wall. Some people with way less taste but way more money who are not me. To top it all off, their music is “Piano Man”, which again, could have been a Viennese Waltz if it weren't already something else entirely. Their performance is elegant but Jane is a bit wooden and stick necked, although she looks distinguished on the dance floor, in a Victorian matron sort of way. Carrie thought it was gorgeous, however she spied a lift which is a big no-no. Jane denies it but there was a bit of departure from the floor there which was obvious in the rerun they did later backstage. Len saw some minor lifts in previous weeks too which all the judges let slip, prompting Carrie to argue that this is a rule they should keep observing. Len did like the changes and holds. Bruno saw a queen of fairies and serenity. Despite the lift they bring in solid scores: 8-9-9 = 26
Working the votes
Floyd was upset after last week's disappointing showing. Coming into rehearsal, they find a big banner done by some elementary school kids and it's time to show Floyd
begging for pity votesreaching out to the community. After an uplifting time at the school, Karina wants to make sure this is their comeback week and Floyd wants to work hard because he wants to stay on the show. Lucky for him they are assigned the Paso Doble, which is an opportunity for Karina to wear a barely there outfit, for Floyd to jump high up in the air for no apparent reason, and for both of them to do lots of running around looking disgruntled before finally ending their performance with a flourish. There wasn't much dancing per se, but I enjoyed it. Len liked Floyd's 100% dedication, but felt he lost control at times. However he loved the content. Bruno thought Floyd went from a “bulldozer to a bull fight” in one leap and stayed in character and felt this was his dance. Carrie bemoans another lift she spied which she defines as “a move that the woman cannot do on her own”. Karina looks a bit confused by this description. Carrie liked Floyd's posture. Their scores: 7-8-8 = 23 Floyd is just happy to get out of Blackjack-land.
It's a bloody Scary wonderland
Scary wants to improve herself but her lack of focus frustrates Maks who feels that it is preventing her from learning their routine. They take time out from practicing to do some meditating with a coach, which may or may not have helped them focus on the Viennese Waltz since they looked like they mostly just slept through the whole thing. Dancing to “Breakaway” they turn in a decent performance, albeit lacking some sparkle. Bruno felt swept away to wonderland and liked the elegance and grace Mel displayed. Carrie was impressed by this as well but felt there were some problems with Mel's shoulders and some of her turns, which were slightly off at times. Len saw an “eclectic mix of steps” and a “bloody good job”. They earn 8-9-9 for a total of 26 points. Next week, if they make it, Scary plans on taking Maks to London for the much anticipated Spice Girls video shoot. I've know I've been on pins and needles ever since they broke up, dreaming of a reunion lip-sync tour and a new video. I'm into quality music!
Superman develops a new power
What does Cameron do in his trailer on the set of his soap? Why he uses his AT&T mobile phone to make video calls to his kids back home, that's what. Ain't that just awesome? I'm sure AT&T is not paying him to plug their service. Why would I even think of that? I have such a terribly suspicious mind, don't even pay attention to me. Usually it's the star who has trouble in the studio, but this week Edyta reached a new level of frustration. It seems their music is incredibly difficult to dance to, given that they have to mold their Paso Doble to fit it. I shudder for a minute, imagining all kinds of horrors like maybe the theme from M.A.S.H. or a Wayne special. Rehearsal is painful to watch as they seemingly disagree on how to handle the choreography. Turns out their music is the theme from “Superman”, yet again milking Bruno's Clark Kent/Kal-El comparisons from previous weeks. Cameron is wearing a top with a big modified Superman logo, with a C instead of the S in it. If you think that must have looked cheesy, you'd be right. I confess, I didn't really pay attention to the dance. All that sweeping heroic music and that C on Cameron's chest may have caused my brain to shut down. Carrie did watch and she liked it and despite the lift – that egregious faux pas again! - she felt Cameron was beautiful. Len felt Cameron and the Paso Doble go together like fish and chips and Bruno saw Superman returning “in a blaze of glory”, making him proud. Their scores are 9 across the board, for a total of 27.
Take two Tylenol PM or watch this waltz.
Marie has balancing problems, thus the Viennese Waltz is not easy for her. In the studio she gets dizzy and disoriented. Mark suggests some ballet as well, to improve her posture and her form, especially her arms. Marie takes ballet class with some little girls, because every star has to have at least one extracurricular activity this week and this probably seemed low impact enough. Some guy sings “Can't help falling in love” doing a poor imitation of Elvis, while Jonathan and Marie glide around doing not much at all. There is one move where he sweeps Marie around in a circle, nicely wiping the floor with her feathered hem but little else by way of excitement. Not that the Viennese Waltz was ever terribly exciting but paired with inappropriate music, showy choreography and distracting costumes, it's nothing more than an excuse to polish the dance floor without breaking a sweat. Len thought their dance was gentle and lovely. Bruno saw a Sleeping Beauty who was still asleep. Carrie liked that she didn't put the full Marie Osmond attitude into this routine for a change. At least she didn't accuse them of doing an illegal lift. They waltz away with 9-9-8 = 26. That's 26 points. Four points away from perfection. In an alternate universe this would perhaps make perfect sense.
Yes, I did recycle a chapter heading. Why mess with near perfection...
Just because they can
Jennie juggles mommy time with rehearsal time, and her dedication seems to be paying off. After a great showing last week, she is back to do a Paso Doble. Derek informs her she will need to be either a bull or a cape during the dance, which understandably confuses Jennie. Since practice makes perfect, Jennie puts in some overtime at home, showing her three cute kids whatever she learned that day in the studio. It's a family effort! With Jennie dressed in a huge red skirt and Derek's hair slicked back, they dance to some piece called “Because we can” by Fatboy Slim. Just because they can, the producers on this show seem to go out of their way to find music that in no way matches any of the dances. Either that or this Fatboy Slim wonder was just dirty cheap and good for a joke at least. What it wasn't good for, however, was the Paso Doble. Jennie and Derek do what they can with it, and I have to applaud the way they keep a straight face dancing to such eloquent and poetic lyrics as “Because we can, can, can, can, can/ Yes we, can, can, can, can, can/ Can, can, can, can, can, can/ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh”. Just imagine, somebody clever is in all likelihood collecting songwriting royalties for this crap while you work 9 to 5.
Perhaps hypnotized by the music, Bruno babbles something about Nicole Kidman and Spain. He loved the choreography and their lovely passes. Carrie brings up the illegal lift again, saying Jennie's feet came off the floor. Derek tries to refute her claim with an impromptu twirl where Jennie's feet do come off the floor. Oops! Len declares that this week he is in a “lift free zone” and for him this dance was fantastic. They earn 8-10-9 for a total of 27 points. Len must be in love or maybe he did it just because he can.
After a significant downward slide last week, Helio needs a good performance. However, his controlling side is at odds with Julianne's meticulous approach to the choreography. He wants to mark the moves and go through the routine quickly, while Julianne wants to dwell on the small stuff and perfect every detail. Despite their differences, Helio does want to win, and realizes he needs to listen to Julianne. They dance the Viennese Waltz to the Goo Goo Dolls' “Iris” - another
stupidinspired choice - with Helio wearing a white suit and Julianne clad in a nude dress with white feathers at the bottom. It's a pleasant performance, visually if not technically. Carrie felt it was a special performance. Len loved it and felt the emotion in the dance. Bruno says they compliment each other and they are in tune with each other and was amazed. In a brilliant move, Tom plugs next week's Latin night asking the audience to vote keeping in mind that everybody will be half naked on the next show. Maks better not be gone tomorrow, that's all I got to say. Back to Helio, his scores are: 9-9-9 for a total of 27 points.
This was a night of incredible music selections, unnecessary field trips, illegal lifts, scarier than usual Bruno-isms and some overzealous scoring. Sabrina is leading the pack while Mark is at the bottom of the board. We'll be cutting the fat again Tuesday night, wasting precious time that we'll never get back on useless filler and apparently Jimmy Kimmel is back once more. Tune in, or better yet, go walk your dog or feed your fish and wait for MotherSister's sure to be sparkling recap.
I do hope you all voted to keep Maks for next week's Latin night if only to keep me happy.