We open with that familiar shot of the glowing chandelier illuminating the ballroom floor, but last night was no ordinary night! Somehow everybody ended up with like, practically the same score , because according to Tom this is the most talented cast evah! That should mean that this show is getting tighter and more refined each week, right? But no. I’ve made a troubling discovery. It seems the length of the performance and results shows are inversely proportionate to the number of stars left dancing. The formula looks something like this: time = x/dancers , where ‘x’ is the number of times you have to poke yourself in the eye to stay awake. Luckily, I happen to be the odd duck that enjoys ripping apart the eye-poking banalities of life. And so now for it!
Let’s Go Back, Let’s Go Way On Back When
We must start with the very sad news of Marie’s father passing away, and Marie being gone to be with her family. But Samantha reveals that she’s safe to dance again next week, which is nice, because it’d definitely suck to be eliminated on top of everything else. And now we replay of yesterday’s events. Two dances each, the pressure! Nobody loved Helio’s tango (but his hip swiveling samba can cure all ills). Mel and Maks had a clunky foxtrot but tried to be all proud of it anyway. Jane was skeered to get close to Tony, and Jennie was a bit frigid with Derek as well, but she jokes that her plan was always to suck at first and then come out strong. Derek was not aware of these developments. I get the feeling there are lots of things Derek’s unaware of, but that’s neither here nor there. Marie’s jive-y quickstep was a real hit, but the jury’s still out on the cute little Len Kiss. Unfortunately her cha cha was a bust, and not the good kind. Jennie rebounded with a rumba, and Cameron with a jive, but nobody bounced back higher than Mel with her 30-point paso, which score causes Maks to let out a girly scream once backstage. Hot.
M&M have earned themselves this week’s encore with what Len terms as “the dance of the season”. I kind of think Len just wanted Maks out on the floor in that leather vest again, but whatevs. I’m not going to complain about another chance to hear that lyrically gutted and vocally mangled version of “Free Your Mind” that ABC deemed appropriate for our ears. Oh wait, that sounded complain-y didn’t it? Never mind.
Back from break, we find Samantha chatting backstage with Jonathan about his partner’s troubles. Jonathan reports that he and Marie will be continuing on the show, and further informs us that Marie’s father did see his daughter’s dedication of her quickstep last night. Aw, Jonathan’s quite choked up as he approaches the mention of their dance. It’s amazing how close these folks get in such a short time.
Here now with something that will fail to uplift you from thoughts of melancholy is LeAnn Rimes, singing “How Do I Live Without You.” Her voice is a bit shaky, but she’s still got that distinctive tone going on. As she sings, Tony and Julianne perform something I can’t identify, but there sure are a lot of lifts. Nobody tell Carrie Ann, okay?
And now we’re upbeat again, because the audience was super-hyper after this week’s performances. We get a lot of gushing about how hot! hot! hot! and on fire! everyone was. I hope someone was watching the smoke detectors. Mel’s paso doble earns her a bunch of rave reviews, and Helio’s sultry samba set a lot of hearts racing. Some fire extinguisher of a girl thinks Cameron is destined for the bottom two no matter how hot he is, and some axe of a woman frankly declares that Jane should be out tonight because it’s a dance competition. I don’t remember anyone ever classifying it as that. John Ratzenberger doesn’t say much of anything, but look! There he is!
Results again. The next couple to avoid the red gel of doom are … Cam and Edyta. What?! Not Mel and Maks? Oh, I hope we’re not in for another shocking boot! Why, I guess I’ll just have to hang on to the end of this show to find out if they’re safe. You win this round, producers.
Not to be confused with Miller Time, which I hear is a blast. Back by “popular” demand are Len, Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice, with a little something called DanceCenter. Okay. Whatever helps us fill the time without Jimmy Kimmel is fine by me. Lord Kenny of Monotone brings up the stacked deck of women in this year’s comp, and then goes on to talk about Helio being short and Brazilian. Len notes Helio’s sunny demeanor as a strength and Jerry Rice cites that as evidence that he’s having a great time. Then Kenny pokes at his accent, because that’s funny. Our Blessed Kenny of Blue Eyeshadow then goes on to call Jane old, and they all talk about her elegance and poise in times of strife and food-borne illness. Sir Kenny of the Overblushed Cheekbones then calls Carrie Ann a hater for busting Jane on her lifts a few weeks ago. We move on to Jennie, and a revisiting of her tragic fall – Len thinks it was a pure accident due to Derek’s trampling her gown, but Jerry Rice thinks it was a sympathy strategy. Baron von Ridiculously Rhinestoned Shirt takes this opportunity to point out a nervous facial tic of Jennie’s, and then begins talking about Sabrina’s awesomeness as if she’s still in the game. Whoops! What a wacky mistake!
*Yes, yes, I thought the DanceCenter segment was pretty funny, but I figure if Kenny can dish it out he can probably take it too.
And now for something completely different. The Rock Steady Crew is here to entertain you with their mad break dancing skillz, while the house band makes a horrible mockery of Aretha’s song by the same name. Yay.
Dancing Folks and Snarky Jokes
LeeAnn Rimes is back with just one backup singer (?) and her swinging, folksy new single “Nothing Better to Do,” which is really convenient. It’s cool how the timing worked out on that. Cheryl, Anna, and some other ladies I don’t know come out in men’s shirts, short shorts (hey, wrong country-pop star!) with black canes to accompany her with some Coyote Ugly style moves.
DanceCenter again. It’s Mel’s turn for skewering; Rt. Hon. Stupid Spiky Haircut notes that M&M seem to spend long stretches of their routines just walking or standing still. This bothers Jerry because on his season he got “crucified” for doing that sort of thing on his season. Len says it’s his bad – he’s older and kinder now. Tough luck, Jerry. Len also calls Mel a great all-rounder and implies that her versatility will take her very far in this thing. Cameron’s dubbed “The Housewives’ Choice,” heh, and his busy coast-to-coast schedule is our next topic of discussion. Jerry thinks it shows his dedication to winning. Kenny, Earl of Painfully Arched Eyebrows remarks that women love Cam, and men want to be him, and asks Len if that’s true on his part. Len says he is Cameron, just the older version. (Start those preventive measure now, Mrs. Mathison.) They next pick at Cameron and Edyta’s playful flouting of the rules of being fully clothed, although Len says if they’ve got it, they should flaunt it on the dance floor. But nowhere else does Len want to stare at Cam’s pectorials. That’s his protest(-ing too much), not mine. Marie now. They commend her for her natural performance skills, but note that her dancing needs to get stronger. And of course play the Faint Footage yet again (I think that brings the total to like eleventy-five so far). Marquis de Bronze Face marks Len as rude for not even moving when Marie dropped, and then for giving her a 7 after all.
Samantha’s chatting backstage with Mel, Helio, and Jane, and Jennie, presumably to rub in their unsafe status. She asks Mel how important it is to get big scores, and Mel says scores are for crap, it’s the audience votes that matter. Helio says something about everything being uncertain; Jennie gets to testify about her growing confidence; Jane calls her longevity on the show the “miracle of her life” and thanks all her fans and Tony. And wow, all of that took like a minute; they’re really cutting back on old Sam’s chat time. The producers must’ve gotten those lemon bars I sent.
Now we get an extended package of reactions to Sabrina’s elimination. Cameron recalls his shock at learning that he would continue and she would not, complete with a shot of him open-mouthed and holding his forehead in confusion. That’s real. You don’t get more shocked than that. M&M, Carrie, and everyone go on to give like 10 variations of ways to say anything can happen. Marie notes that there’s no pattern of elimination emerging, so Sabrina’s shocking defeat is symptomatic of that “anything” happening. The tragedy lives on in all of our hearts, I’m sure.
Bowing Out Gracefully
We’re down to business now. The spotlights are up and our 4 remaining couples are about to learn whether they go on another week or join Sabrina in talk show hell. Tom quickly declares Mel and Maks safe, and Samantha leaves everyone else to stew with a well-placed “after the break.” Lucky for you, FORT doesn’t do commercials. So Tom announces that they will not be naming a bottom two, only the losers. Tom asks Len for advice for Helio, and through another of his convoluted racing analogies, Len urges Helio to pay more attention to technique. Bruno spouts off about Jane being dull and one-note, and says she should become more earthy and “available.” Available? I do not think it means what he thinks it means. Carrie Ann gets Jenny, and says some more about Jennie blossoming, and blah blah blah, she’s going to win, etc. But who is going to lose? Not Helio’ he’s safe! Not Jennie; she’s safe! And that leaves Jane and Tony wallowing all alone in those creepy red lights. Funny, everyone was right this week. I guess the universe had to balance out the massive surprise of Sabrina’s ouster. Tom asks Jane if the show was worth doing, and Jane gushes about how much fun it’s been and how rewarding. She thanks her fans again, and Tom rushes them onto the dance floor while Samantha reminds that next week our pairs will be doubling up once again. You know what that means: another bloated extravaganza deflated and served up for you by the great MsFroggy. I know you won’t want to miss that.
What else can we bribe the powers that be to do with baked goods? Send me your ideas and recipes.