If I were a painting, I’d be blue. Like Picasso for a while – and Chagall too. I’d duck into a museum on a rainy day; I’d be full of light and shadow, just like a Monet. I’d swirl like Van Gogh into the starry sky, then scream like Munch and just ask “Why”.
Whyyyyy are we back here again – with Maksim tamped down into a tame waltz, and Team Hashly unceremoniously ousted.
The show seemed to lack something this week. Something like passion, as opposed to the cold desire to win. Passion is moving; it’s contagious; (well, especially on Sunset and Orange) and it is memorable. A cold desire to win – well, visit Wall Street.
Last week’s Guy Who Wanted This So Much is now mocked by huge pink letters rooting for Joeyta – right next to his wife’s shop on Ventura Boulevard. Yes, Harry’s heroine Lisa Rinna’s shop, Belle Gray, advertised its “love” for the home team with a demurely painted “We love you Harry & Ashly” across its front windows. Right next door, a custom gown shop painted huge pink letters on every window touting Joey & Edyta, complete with pictures of cue-ball. It seems a harsh indignity, but, Harry’s survived Hollywood, killed Medusa, and brought back her head (I’m not sure which is rougher) – he’ll be okay. A hero lives to fight on another day. Now we have assorted types who for various reasons all want, as TomBee put it, that tacky disco ball trophy. This week’s episode kind of feels to me like a dance hall marathon in the light of day. They’re all only here for pay. I can only hope the sentimental cheese factor will be brought back by Nick Lachey.
But for now: Les jeux sont faits, the wheel has spun, so – another recap must be begun. Okay, enough rhymes.
We have the usual beginning, with each team walking down the stairway, and Tom and Samantha talking into the camera. We wave hello to the judges. And we hear about this week’s dance styles: The waltz is “elegance and grace personified”. The judges will be looking for: Soft flowing movements; effortless rise and fall; and serene facial expressions. Cue Maksim who races into the room like someone’s about to steal his dance belt. The Paso Doble is termed “dramatic”. Yes indeed. The judges want from the Paso Doblers: Flamenco feet; marching movements; defined hand movements; and (we see Maks whipping a cape around) “the flavor of the bull fight”.
Monique and Louis are up first. Last week’s highlights have Louis terming Monique a diva a la Fox. Monique says she tends to ‘attack’ things (like her partner?) and wants to find a relaxing way to waltz. Louis seems to be improvising a haiku and philosophises to Monique about daring to go that deep or something like that. Or no, maybe it’s from the Dick and Jane reader?
Look! I can jump
Look! I can shake
Look! I dare to go that far
That deep inside.
Next he tutors her in physics: “Movement? No beginning, no ending”. Let’s see if he can spin her right into space. Nope, they’re moving much too slowly. Showtime: The house singer opines about a still life lost in the shadows, “If I were a painting, my price would be pain”. This is a somewhat moody, slowly paced tune popularly sung by Willie Nelson among others. It paints pictures with words. I can see why Louis chose this. Louis told Monique earlier that he wanted them to make the audience “cry in a minute thirty”. I’m crying already. Because I have to recap this episode.
But wait…Lonique just accomplished a very smooth turn. That was actually quite beautiful. The hem of Monique’s harem costume picked up the current and flowed like water. But now Louis is wiping the floor with that same beautiful skirt. What is it with the choreography so often unceremoniously mopping the floor with a dancer’s behind? Would someone send this show a couple of Swiffers? The budget can’t be that low. Wait! Now Monique is crying. Girl, I would too, if someone ruined my costume.
Okay, a nod to the music director Harold Wheeler, and time to judge. Len thought Monique’s arms were graceful but doing the splits three times was a bit over the top. I’d agree. I didn’t see this many splits in that Dallas Cheerleader tryout show I was watching er, just happened to run across yesterday. Bruno calls her “Monique full of grace” and talks up her "fluidity". He then compares her to the Little Mermaid. I think Bruno should stop watching movies. Carrie Ann liked the way the pair danced ‘as one’. Monique interviews to Samantha backstage that Louis “makes the dance about the human spirit”, yada yada. Girl, you’re wearing sequins in aquamarine. Don’t make this more than it is. The judges score them: Triple 8s. 24 total, for those of you who don’t have an abacus handy.
Emmitt’s back from apparently being ‘robbed at gunpoint’ last week (on this show? No, Kym’s gun was fake) and up next. In rehearsals, Cheryl is trying to bring out Emmitt’s inner matador. I’m sorry, but Emmitt is a teddy bear. His ‘grrr’ is about as ‘scary’ as Yogi Bear’s. Field trips are back (!!) as Chermitt go to the Texas State Fair to see “a real bull”. Just watch C-Span! (woh woh wahhh) Emmitt stares at a bull named Peter the Great. (I’m guessing it’s paranoid, delusional and hops on anything that passes by?) Emmitt doesn’t seem to be absorbing toughness; he seems to be drooling. I have the feeling Emmitt’s thinking about a porterhouse. Wait, Peter’s drooling too. Maybe he’s thinking about BBQ’d Running Back? Emmitt theorises that since he and Cheryl astrologically are both Taurus (‘the bull’) they will dance well. I really think Emryl are taking this “flavor of the bull fight” rule too much to heart.
Emmitt looks sad… and worried. Cheryl, in a lovely red dress and hair extensions (it works!), is being dragged behind him (at least she’s vertical!). She spins solo and they begin some tango-like footwork. They go back to back, face front to front, and then drop to their knees and try to arm wrestle (well, that’s what it looks like). Emmitt’s muscles seem a bit tight as he steps back and forth but – football players are built to be strong, not agile. He’s got great rhythm, but he’s not the loosest, most flexible dancer up there. He’s even holding his glutes at one point as if he’s pulled something. His flamenco footwork isn’t bad; but I think the dance is being carried by Cheryl and her backless red dress. She pushes him away, spins toward him and ends the dance in a backbend over his knee – another popular move among dancers on this show.
Bruno calls Emmitt a “Raging Bull”. Seriously. Someone take Bruno’s IMDB away! Carrie Ann calls Emmitt a “Beast”. …Master?? She says he scared her, and praises his “moments of brilliance”. Len confesses to being afraid of Cheryl. I think these two more resembled Precious Moments’ flamenco figurines than the stars of Tobe Hooper’s next flick, but okay. Bit of chit-chat with Samantha backstage, and we hear the scores: triple 8s to tie with Monouis. Samantha says Em needs more frequent flyer miles, so vote for him. Why – does he want to visit Peter again? Well Peter’s in Texas, so he’s probably a side of ribs by now.
Willa and…Maksim!! are up next. Willa’s in a semi-Grecian gown, all in white – Maks sports a gangster look (wrong week Maks!) in a white vest/pants with black shirt and pocket square. Scenes from last week’s dance, with Willa in – ah – her costume can best be summed up as a cross between an Andrews Sister and Baskin Robbins’ bubblegum ice cream. I’m sorry, I had to comment - I miss that ice cream. Is that Betty Grable on Maks’ shirt? Anyway, Willa thinks their mysterious rise in rank from bottom to top is because America suddenly got behind her. I have another opinion on whose behind America was preoccupied with, but I’ll leave it. Moving on…
Maks, in a new Swayze-esque hairstyle (I kinda liked his long hair better) is stalking the dance floor in rehearsals. Next to him Willa looks like a pink bunny rabbit. (Be vewwy...) Sorry. He’s coaching her that their dance must have an up/down rhythm. Field trip! This looks like the carousel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Willa rides a horsie while Maks holds her hand. Oh, I get it. He’s illustrating for her the meaning of ‘up and down’. I’ll… I’m leaving that pun WAY alone. Back at the rehearsal space, Maks interviews that he hopes Willa turns into “a little princess”. Oh, don’t let Bruno hear that, please.
Time to waltz. Willa pauses on the stairs, illustrating Ava Gardner’s maxim (different spelling, different word) that to be glamorous, “just stand still and look stupid”. No, but she really does look gorgeous. I just think the rhinestone collar detracts from her classic gown. It’s like something Vincent from Project Runway would add. And it’s reminiscent of a dog collar. Anyway, the song is “You Light Up My Life” – both a song and a movie from the 1970s. Debbie Boone popularized it. The singer’s waiting... for someone... to sing her his song! Go Maksim. Unfortunately, while he’s very capable, this type of dance doesn’t showcase Maksim’s
thighsstrengths on the dance floor.
Maybe this dance is more about the female dancer. Willa’s looking very graceful. Her stark white gown flows gracefully and breezily with each turn. I personally prefer the women’s dance costumes to remind one of Ginger Rogers, than the hoochie outfits of episodes past. Ms. Ford does look stunning tonight, apart from that annoying piece of spangly fabric trim around her neck. Maks didn’t have much to do this week besides twirl her around, but oh well. Even superheroes have to rest.
Carrie says Willa swept her away. She singles out Willa’s “elegance, rise and fall, and posture”. Len uses some British slang that I think got bleeped, but then tells “Willa the Thrilla” if she’d just done a couple more ‘heel leads’, it would’ve been a 10. “Absolutely dee-lightful” he concludes. Maks ‘high-fives’ Willa. Bruno is so overwhelmed he forgets movie titles for a moment and pronounces the dance a perfect expression of love and romance.
Back from commercial, Tom Bergeron segues clumsily (hey I know all about that, Tom!) from ‘how desperate the stars want that mirror ball trophy’ to introducing Eva Longoria in the audience. She’s… Desperate, get it. Ok, moving on. (I thought I also spotted Shannon Elisabeth – what’s she, chopped apple pie?). Eva’s wearing a flashing “Vote for Mario” T shirt. Okay, Eva, go back to scoping out the gardener or whatever you do. We’re scoping out Maksim… and Willa’s scores. Carrie and Len give out 9s, but Bruno announces a 10 with a pump of his fist. Willa is thrilled. Maks high fives some more people. Willa tells Samantha that she’s “cleaned it up” because her grandma’s watching tonight. Oops, Willa, forgot to cover that arm tattoo. But Willa seems comfy like this, in chiffon and glitter, so maybe she’ll stop dressing like a cotton candy with a navel. Let’s hope. Willa’s hair is even red-carpet ready. Maks’ part of the interview is a bit dull – okay, which Delilah snipped all his superpowers away?? Let’s hope we see more Rasputin and less TinTin next week. Anyway – 28 out of 30 for our dapper pair.
Tom quips that next week the place will be crawling in grandparents. If he means a move to keep Willa clothed gracefully – I’ll phone the AARP right now. Okay, Sara & Tony… another pair whose viewer support has done them wonders and kept them on the show. Good thing, too. I have no idea what Sara’s talking about with “I’m the cape”. Cape Canaveral? ...Horn? Cod? Now she’s confusing Tony’s dance attitude with anger. I think she’s just plain confused. She’s getting the steps down, but she’s a bit dull. I think she has to bring more energy at some point, or the judges will really dun her for it. Then again she has a lot of internet fan support. Showtime!
Sara stands in Sarah Brightman curls atop the mini staircase. She’s surrounded by chandeliers. Music from The Phantom of the Opera begins – those famous chords. Tony slinks toward her on his knees. Whoa, Sara’s dress is cut high. It’s odd that Marilyn Monroe in the same predicament onscreen was roundly booed by audiences for showing too much er, leg. Tony’s doing wonderfully – his posture and holds are just right. The singers are not doing too badly with this song – those notes can’t be easy to hit.
Sara’s legs are very stiff but then again she did break them years ago, so, it’s understandable. However, as Len said to Kym, there are no 20 yard leads in the Olympics. Tony wipes up the floor with Sara, and to finish the dance she mimics a corpse; Tony plants a rose in her hands as if she’s laid out in state. Mmm, Goth is probably a stretch for her. Let’s see if the judges buy it. Nope. Len says this dance does not suit Sara. The audience boos for I think the first time tonight. Bruno doesn’t like a gloomy Sara. Carrie
sucks up to the audiencesays she disagrees. She likes that Sara tried something new. (Well, don’t they have to?) Carrie wants to see Sara use the floor (but she swept it already Carrie!) and her strength. Stomp! She wants to see Sara stomp. Ooh, I hope next week’s Field Trip takes them to see Stomp! I’ll even settle for a touring show.
No Samanthaview for Sara & Tony? Nopers, and they get hit with a 6, 7, and 7, for a measly 20. Now Sam puts the mic in their faces. Sara says she kept stepping on her hem and that threw her off. It didn’t look like much dress in front to me. I fear Sara’s too timid to be entertaining in most dances and it may hurt her chances.
Jer-RY. He says he wanted to make it this far so he could learn to Waltz for his daughter Katie’s wedding. That’s sure to get Awwws from many viewers. The man is nothing if not audience-savvy. This is ‘serious Jerry’. He says no clowning this week. We see Jerry crying and walking out of the rehearsal studio all choked up. On stage: I like the beginning to this one. Kym, in a very sweet, full A-line dress in a canary yellow (reminds me of Kim Novak in Picnic, actually) sits with head resting on hand, while Jerry pensively admires her from afar. It’s a rather classic tableau which is nice to see in ballroom dance. I’ve been waiting for the pairs to show me some real ballroom dancing. Granted, there was only one Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
The house band’s woodwinds strike up the sentimental tune, “Tennesee Waltz”. Nevermind the lyrics, there’s something wistful and sad about this song. That plus, it’s one my grandma used to hum and sing around the house, so it’s got me choked up now, too. Pass me some tissues, Jerry. I just hope Jerry’s daughter doesn’t choose this as her Bridal dance, since it’s about a woman whose friend steals her man away. Kym and Jerry are dancing a very sweet Waltz, and the song’s lyrics are moving… I think this is the team that actually “moved someone in a minute thirty”. At least, if this recapper, the studio audience, and Jerry himself are to go by. Kym’s doing a beautiful job with slow, delicate steps, and she brings an ultra femininity to the dance. This is how I think of classic ballroom dance. Great job you two.
A few spins, and Jerry walks Kym back to the stair where he watches her sit winsomely… And he walks out to the audience, where he tears up and gives daughter Katie a tight hug. I’m… I’m verklempt. I really did get chills watching the end. It’s not all about Maksim’s thighs, you know.
Bruno deems the dance “very touching, very moving” and Jerry’s best to date. Carrie says the best thing about dance is if you can touch people without uttering a single word, and “tonight you touched us all”. Len confides he is not an emotional person, (oh gosh, I just pictured Len in an Emo wig) but praises the various technical aspects of the performance. “A delight, well done” he sums up. Next, the other dancers backstage are chanting “Jer-RY” and the judges score Kym and Jerry: 7 from Carrie and Len; 8 from Bruno. 22 out of 30, but – the judges’ scores haven’t hurt this team before and I doubt they will this time. Surely this is tonight’s sentimental favorite with the audience (even if the ‘hug the daughter’ portion seemed a bit calculated?). We’ll see tomorrow.
Vivica and Nick – Okay, wait. Did Vivi just interview in all pink and a Hello Kitty necklace? I think there are subtler ways to try and look younger. Like, maybe, joining Faye Dunaway in drinking the blood of young Starlets. But I’ve got my reality shows wire-crossed again. Back to this one. Nickica are in Vegas, baby, Vegas! Vivi’s gonna guest as a showgirl. That didn’t go so well for Tyra… oops, sorry again. Next, The Fox trotted to Chicago for a breast cancer fundraiser, then back to L.A. to practise for DWTS. She’s said her inspiration this week is Zeta- Jones in Zorro, but that’s no excuse for the very strange skirt she wears for performance. White, blue, navy - and big. This skirt does her no favors. The sequins on her top are picking up the lights nicely but the top and skirt just aren’t a match. Vivi’s a bit stiff. Oh, that’s where that skirt came from – she’s dancing by numbers, and the costume resembles a woman in one of those Paint By Numbers kits. Again as with Maks, Nick seems wasted in that he’s mostly just stepping around his partner and showing her off. She seems to light up whenever she gets to shove him, though.
(Wait – is that RuPaul in the audience cheering Vivica? Now that’s a Dancing with the Stars episode I’d love to see. Get Rupe on here!!) Tom just called Vivi “a cake with teeth”. Dang! I hate when his jokes are better than mine. Lol. He’s right though, the skirt does have the shape and weight of a tiered cake. Judging time: Len sums up Vivi’s dance as “a lot of Olés and a couple of Oh-Nos”. He said she had a lot of aggression but not much posture or hold. Bruno tells Vivica that she always embues her dances with a lot of power, “a true Tarantino killer” but that she sometimes lost the “Spanish line” necessary to the dance.
Carrie admonishes VAF gently to ‘bring back her femininity’. She mentions Viv’s toughness, aggression, and “Power Ranger ending” but – it’s implied those aren’t what ballroom dancing calls for. Nick objects: “But it was Bon Jovi!”. And he’s been making a series of faces that are hilarious whenever I pause the TiVo… but he doesn’t convince Carrie this was a proper Paso Doble. Backstage, Nickica offer up their mantra: “Devotion to the motion will create the emotion”. That sounds more similar to an acting technique than dance, or maybe the first line of a limerick. Sam asks them “if slow and steady wins the race”. Yes, if you’re a turtle. VAF says she wants them to be “Mr. and Mrs. Consistency”. Nick admirably listens while Vivica jabbers on about the dance being about passion and a bull and bullfighter. Of the two, I think Vivica’s the bull, and I don’t just mean her dialogue. Amazingly, or perhaps because they’ve seen Kill Bill, the judges score this team a triple 8. That’s a 24.
Dimples & Cue BallMario and Joey are up next. Well, consecutively, I mean. First up are Studio City dressmaker favorites Joey and Edyta. Judges gave both a smackdown last week for breaking the rules, but they’re still in the game. I don’t see how they’d work a Lift into a Waltz so they should be safe from temptation this week. Joey’s holds are not too good in rehearsal and his posture’s awful. His behind sticks out too far. He tells Eddy he’s in a weird mood and “spaced out”. Their Field Trip is to the patio of a nice restaurant – the type with a lot of greenery everywhere. Oh, this wouldn’t be a pull for audience sympathy, would it? Joey’s wife Chandie, and their adorable vote getterbaby girl are there to “enjoy the day”. His mother and brother are also there. Okay, that was pretty pointless, unless you’re entertained watching Joey Lawrence eat lunch.
On the live stage – Joey goes for the total Mr. Clean look in all-white: suit, tie, everything. Edyta is in a pink dress with side cut-outs that reminds me of an ice dancing costume, but the two art forms are similar so that’s okay. But the way this house band’s male singer is warbling out an Eagles song is not. He must’ve blown his pipes singing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Joey and Edyta begin in a standing spoon pose, he lifts her by her armpits and twirls (this really is seeming more like ice dancing) and they separate only to rejoin and perform a few classic Waltz moves: stepping backwards together, Joey twirling Edyta underhand, the two spinning glued together, and then an awkward backbend by Eddy that almost seemed vulgar at first. I got the sense Joey’s hold was not very strong. She seemed to hesitate midway. Oh and speaking of vulgar, there’s a high kick to the camera that is mostly shall we say, a bit more than we needed to know. I do bet that after this, the Brazilian wax salon two doors down from that dressmaker shop will also have signs saying they Love Joey and Edyta.
There seems to be a lot of backbends facing Joey and a lot of straddling legs in this dance. I’m not sure what that was all about, but I think I’ll have to watch Kym’s Waltz again to clear some of these tacky dance moves off my mental palate. Well, the judges were smoking something – Carrie Ann said she cried, and she praises Joey leading Edyta through the Waltz. (I think the choreography does that for him.) Carrie deems their performance “first class”. Len terms it “A wow of a waltz”. Bruno goes way overboard with his praise: “A heavenly symphony of beauty on the dance floor”, “Refined elegance and technically very, very skillful”. Joey’s misty-eyed, Edyta’s gleeful and
a few womenthe audience cheers wildly. Joeyta get a Triple 9 (but we don’t mean the Society) from the three judges. That’s a 27, for those of us not IN the Triple Nine Society. I know for sure. I counted it on all my fingers and toes.
Mario’s warming up like a prize fighter with a Rope-A-Dope and we will see him next. And… because Recaps don’t have commercials… here he is! And he’s got a gold sparkly scorpion on his jacket so don’t mess with him! In rehearsals, Mario (in a 44 shirt – football number? Tv rating? IQ?) obsesses on whether scooting Karina along the floor counts as “a lift”. Karina nearly stamps her foot trying to convince him “It’s not a lift!”. He wants both her feet on the floor. Is this a dance competition, or the Hays Office?
Field Trip! Mario brings Karina to San Diego to meet his very large, very extended, family. There are Mariachis and everything. I’m not sure whether those are related to Mario too. Mario smashes a cupcake into Karina’s face at the party as they stand solo behind a table full of the little cakes. She dots his nose with icing. Hey, Mario, it’s not one of your weddings! Back in the rehearsal studio, Mario is kind of dancing like Ed Grimley, with hair to match. On stage: The song is a lively mariachi type of tune, “Mi Corazon” it sounds like.
Karina is in a two piece midriff outfit that borrows Kym’s color and Vivica’s skirt shape. Mario’s in a mariachi type suit, with chains up the sides of both legs, and a big scorpion on back of his jacket. They’re tearing up the floor with this Paso Doble. Mario’s doing a great job dancing this one. Karina almost seems outdanced by him; she can’t keep his pace. Mario’s keeping beat with the strumming of the guitar. Of all the Dobles this Doble was tonight’s Dobliest. But the dance ends strangely, with Mario throwing Karina down and sort of straddling her face. Karina turns away and Mario points out toward his mother in the audience, who screams wildly. Freudians, get your pens ready.
Mario soaks up the applause, then helps Karina to her feet. The audience won’t stop screaming and cheering. Bruno says: “Mario El Superbo!” and a bunch of other superlatives, ending with “You have nailed the Paso Doble like I’ve never seen before”. Carrie Ann can’t resist invoking the rules again – she’s pleased they kept to them this week. “The two of you are too sexy to handle!” she squeals. Len betrays his British school background by saying the past two weeks, he has felt like a schoolteacher with a very precocious child – and “if you’d done it again this week I was putting you over the podium, and slapping your bottom!”. Freudians – still writing? Good. Gentleman Len then tries to give a bit of constructive criticism but is drowned out by the audience’s Boos. Bruno helpfully gives us a lesson in sociology by pointing to Mario & Len in turns and repeating, “Latino… English.” Len calls Bruno a “Born again plonker”. I’m thinking ABC better get a British slang dictionary because that was pretty rude. Haha.
Len manages to finish his point – that Mario should watch the video later and “will see he lacked posture and there was a wildness about it”. Mario’s steaming… he’s making that face where he’s biting his lip so hard his dimples almost stop showing. Mariolina go backstage and the judges scores come in: Carrie = 10; Len = a very Boo’d 9; Bruno another 10. That leaves Team Kario with the highest judges’ total of the evening. Or, a twen-ty-niiine.
Tomorrow, we’ll see who’s going home, along with Nick Lachey and Los Lonely Boys. No wait, they won’t be going home… but singing on your Tv screen.
Now, I’m picking up my paints and going home. Send your Elvises on velvet to: Brandy@realitytv.com