It’s already time for another episode of Dancing With the Stars. Last week, the person sent packing was….not Kate Gosselin. *SIGH* Shannen Doherty didn’t seem all that upset about getting eliminated. I, on the other hand, was actually sad to see Shannen go. She looked like she was having fun and managed to NOT look like she was chewing on broken glass 90% of the time.
Tonight, when Tom and Brooke to introduce the pairs, I begin to wonder if Brooke will ever learn to pronounce Maks’ last name. Every week, she puts a new spin on it, none of them correct. This week, the judges have given the pairs a new challenge: they will have to tell a story with their dances….without relying on props. You just know Len was behind that one. I have to agree with him on that. Nothing makes me groan more on this show than seeing someone wheel out some big ‘ole prop. If one or both of them starts out sitting in a chair, I’m likely to throw things at the TV.
To show us the dance styles we’ll be seeing tonight are some of the pros. This will help us to know what the dances should look like before we see the travesties that follow. Keeping with the theme of storytelling on the show tonight, they will be depicting a tempestuous relationship that ends in true love. Tonight, the dances will be the Waltz, the Paso Doble and the Quickstep. The pros here include Jonathan (yay!), Lacey, Dmitri and Maks’ brother Val. There are some good genes in the Chmerkovskiy family.
Evan and Anna
Last week, Evan and Anna did well with the Jive. This week, they’ll be dancing the Quickstep: Evan insists Anna explain the dance to him in thick Russian accent. The dance will be to music from Chicago, which Evan says is perfect because he’s from Chicago. Anna will play Evan’s wife who is late to meet him. Evan’s worried about being in holds for the entire dance.
The routine, danced to “Hot Honey Rag,” starts out with a little Charleston, and moves into Quickstep. Evan looks very elegant in his tux. He should really just wear one every week. I’m not such a fan of Anna’s short, curly red wig, but I guess it works for the routine. Evan’s frame looks a bit loose but, overall, it’s very good.
Len says he really got the story and the routine cheered him up. The footwork was light and bright and this was a great start to the night. Evan still does need to work on pointing his feet. Bruno says some things that I don’t understand and then agrees with Len that Evan needs to work on his feet. He blames Evan’s skates for the problem. Carrie Ann says it was twinkling, athletic, energetic and full of finesse. Great work on the story as well.
Evan reveals that he broke 2 toes this week. No whining: he says that it’s just what happens sometimes.
Carrie Ann: 9
Buzz and Ashley
So, what space-related song will they choose for Buzz this week? Sadly, it’s not “Rocket Man.” Buzz and Ashley will be dancing their Waltz to “What a Wonderful World.” Buzz will portray a soldier being welcomed back home from the war by Ashley, his daughter….born when Buzz was in his 50’s. During rehearsal, Buzz takes video of Ashley on his phone so he can watch it and practice at home. He says he really wants to nail the technique, please the fans and satisfy the judges this week.
Buzz takes the stage in uniform and Ashley looks lovely in a purple-blue gown. Again, it’s like grandpa dancing with his granddaughter at the country club. He does a lot of standing around while she dances. It’s sweet, but there’s not much to it.
Bruno says it was more like the return of the king: Buzz looked very royal and dignified. Buzz was like a statue: he looked better standing still. When he started moving, it really didn’t go anywhere. Carrie Ann isn’t sure if the dancing improved, but the story was believable and they kept it up through the whole dance. Len says the routine had an innocent charm about it that he liked. Still, he’s judging the dance and the technique was poor and the routine was oversimplified. As much as Len likes Buzz and thought the routine was charming, it wasn’t fantastic as a dance.
Carrie Ann: 5
Jake and Chelsie
Jake claims he’s been bitten by the dancing bug and now he really wants to win. This week, Jake and Chelsie will be dancing a Quickstep to “Walk Like an Egyptian.” She will play Cleopatra, while Jake will be the archaeologist who discovers her. So…typecasting. Chelsie says she’s not letting Jake off the hook: she’s working him hard in rehearsal. Jake whines that he can’t work when he stressed out and, when Chelsie confronts him, he walks out. He claims Chelsie is being disrespectful and she, shockingly, apologizes and they make up. Apparently, not everyone heard Len’s message last week.
What? There are cameras out here? I had no idea!
The set for Jake and Chelsie’s dance is like The Mummy, Part 22. There’s a bunch of dry ice and Jake’s in a pith helmet. I thought the fedora was the costume you wore if you were playing an archaeologist. On the whole, it’s just way over the top and barely resembles a Quickstep. The holds are sloppy and Jake seems to be working more on the character than on the actual technique or the dance, although his footwork is pretty fast. Something just seems off though and I can’t put my finger on it.
Carrie Ann praises their storytelling and says that, when you have that much production value, it’s harder to be good. That may have hurt them. Jake’s knees were a bit soft [Aha! That’s why it felt wrong to me]. Len urges Jake to straighten up a bit. The bent knees make the dance harder. The production value was slick, but the dancing didn’t measure up. Bruno agrees that the production value was incredible, but also points out Jake’s bent knees: they made it less precise. As a performance, though, it was very good.
Carrie Ann: 7
Niecy and Louis
This week, Niecy and Louis will be dancing a Waltz and portraying an interracial couple in the 1960’s. In rehearsal, Niecy cries at the thought of not being able to be with or marry someone she loves. Louis says he’s in that boat right now and needs help fighting the battle. I may be wrong, but I think this is the first time on the show that Louis has acknowledged that he’s gay.
I applaud the routine but, on a superficial level, that pink gown Niecy is wearing isn’t doing her any favors. The color is lovely, but the cut is horrid. Why can’t the costume people on this show figure out how to dress someone who isn’t a size 0? The dance, to “With You I'm Born Again,” is sweet, although a bit awkward. They do a lovely spin, but they sort of spoiled the impact of it by showing footage of them doing it in rehearsal.
Len thinks they were very brave to have a go at creating the story without any props and only the dance. They pulled it off. Louis needs to work on teaching Niecy better technique but, emotionally, it was just right. Bruno says their tale of love against all odds was acted very well. Niecy stumbled a bit in the beginning and Bruno urges Niecy to work on her feet, because the judges will be watching. Carrie Ann says it was a very important story to tell, but she was a bit confused by the ending. It seemed like the routine was about coming together, but it seemed more bittersweet.
Niecy explains that she felt vulnerable because she’s not used to expressing her emotions in front of people the way she did in rehearsal.
Carrie Ann: 7
Chad and Cheryl
Last week, Chad wasn’t so happy with his performance. Since he’s a perfectionist in football, this whole experience is humbling. This week, he’s ready to tackle the Paso Doble. Their story will involve Chad pursuing Cheryl and her shooting him down….a lot like real life.
Chad and Cheryl dance with “Cancion del Mariachi” and I think he might be too much of a flirt to get this dance down. Cheryl is always fantastic with the Paso, but Chad, surprisingly, just doesn’t have enough of the arrogance and bravado needed for this dance. He’s not bad, but he’s not fantastic. It’s better than last week, for sure.
Bruno crows that the released the Kraken power is back. Chad showed determination and his presence is back. He cautions Chad to be careful because, at times, he danced like a Kraken and sometimes lost the lines. Carrie Ann says it was clear Chad really wanted the girl: he focused on Cheryl like a laser. It was miles ahead of last week, but Chad should still work on his shoulders. Len says it was much better than last week. Chad should work more on his posture because that is the key. Still, Chad came out with determination dominated the dance. Well done.
Carrie Ann: 7
Pam and Damian
Apparently, Pam cried all night after being in the bottom 2 last week. She says ex-husband Tommy Lee watched and liked it, but he still didn’t vote. This week, Pam’s determined to work even harder. In their Paso Doble, she will portray a gypsy flamenco dancer in love with Damian, as a matador. Since she’s an animal rights activist, Pam will be against everything the matador stands for. To help Pam with her big hair and Spanish accent is Charo. You know, Charo’s looking pretty darned good. Those are some great legs, especially for someone who’s pushing 60.
Now I’m going after the man who killed my family, burned my land and stole my horse.
Pam takes the stage covered in white corseted lace and big hair. It’s like she’s channeling Brigitte Bardot. With all the makeup and hair and giant costumes, you can’t even see Pam. She and Damian dance to “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood” and her footwork is sort of all over the place. I don’t know how much the story actually came through, unless the story was actually just about sex.
Carrie Ann claims she definitely got the story that Pam doesn’t like bullfighting. What was beautiful is Pam’s artistry. Her body moves beautifully, but it’s almost as if she put too much into it and threw herself off a few times. Len praises Pam for coping with the added pressure of having been in the bottom two last week. The intensity was good, although she needs some refinement. Bruno thinks it was like watching a gypsy queen played by Brigitte Bardot.
Carrie Ann: 7
Aiden and Edyta
Apparently, last week, Aiden tossed his cookies after the elimination episode. Thanks, ABC, I didn’t need to know that. This week, Aiden and Edyta will be dancing the Quickstep. Aiden will play an artist painting the woman of his dreams when she suddenly materializes. In rehearsals, Aiden is having trouble getting the steps down and he’s exhausted. You can’t really practice the Quickstep without doing it at full speed and they’re rehearsing all say long. To cheer Aiden up and help him relax, Edyta brings his wife and baby daughter to visit them in the studio and celebrate Aiden’s birthday. They have cake and wear party hats and shill for viewer votes. He should just dance carrying that baby around every week. He’d make it to the final 3 for sure.
The routine - to “Hey, Soul Sister” – begins with Aiden at an easel with awful painting of Edyta. We’re talking “Hey, looked what I learned to do with Photoshop” bad. Luckily, the real Edyta materializes quickly and they actually start to dance. Aiden still isn’t great, but he’s just so cute and it’s obvious he’s trying really hard. Plus, they look striking together. I do think he’s better this week than last, which is sort of the point of the show. I don’t think she bludgeoned him in the face like last week, so she did better too.
Len lectures Aiden: the Quickstep should be carefree, but this was a little careful. Aiden needed to just go for it. Bruno comments that Aiden looked happy as a clam compared to last week. It was a bit skippy, but his posture was better, his confidence better and it was a improvement. Carrie Ann says that Aiden’s confidence is growing and he’s more at ease. He was a little too light on his feet, but his posture was good and it was definitely improvement from last week.
Carrie Ann: 7
Erin and Maks
Because the Foxtrot, which Erin and Maks danced last week, is similar to the this week’s dance, the Waltz, Maks thinks it will be an easy transition for Erin. Last week Erin, along with some of the other celebrities, got a lecture from Len about listening to and trusting the professional dancers, so Maks is going to put Erin to the test. She’ll be dancing most of their Foxtrot blindfolded. Erin vows to dive into it and give Maks what he wants.
A few seconds into their Foxtrot, Maks blindfolds Erin, so she performs the bulk of the routine completely blind. It’s actually pretty sexy. As always, Erin and Maks definitely have chemistry on the dance floor. While Erin’s arms are a bit awkward, she looks terrific and has great extension.
For Bruno, everything is about sex. First you start blindfolded and then you end up in handcuffs, he says. Carrie Ann praises their beautiful storytelling and says this was the best use of a prop she’s seen: it added dimension and a sense of danger. She loved seeing Erin trust Maks, although her hands were gripping a little too much. Relax that a bit. Len, who is just never happy, says that the start was boring – he never thought they’d start dancing. What he saw of the Waltz was good, but there wasn’t enough of it. This is a dancing competition, Len reminds them.
Carrie Ann: 8
Kate and Tony
What’s the theme for Kate and Tony’s Paso Doble this week? As with all things, it’s all about poor Kate and her victimization by the paparazzi. Tony says Kate bottles up her emotions, so Tony brings in an acting coach to help her express her emotions in the dance. Kate says been hiding behind mask for her own survival and for that of her
meal ticketskids. The poor acting coach tries to help them, but Kate’s completely unable to show any emotion.
Proving that there’s yet another artist whose work the DWTS band should never attempt, Kate and Tony dance to “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga, thus ruining this song for me forever. The routine starts with tons of camera flashes and it just goes downhill from there. Kate, dressed Like Old West Saloon Wench Barbie, complete with wretched blond wig, stomps about the stage like Godzilla. Tony’s costume consists of his usual black pants and shirt with a sign that says “Press” on the back. Clever. The dance is slightly better than last week, but she could flop around on the floor like a cod and it would be better than last week.
Carrie Ann sums up my thoughts with, “That was odd.” Dance is a way to release your emotions, and it seems like Kate did that, but the routine was just hard to watch. The emotion just didn’t make it to Kate’s face. It was just strange. Len compliments Kate for getting through the dance and overcoming her nerves, but says the routine was too pedestrian. Bruno says that, for just one second, Kate played that character – Super Bitch From Hell. Now she has to translate that to actually dancing.
Based on the expression on Kate’s face, the judges needed security walking to their cars after the show.
Carrie Ann: 5
Nicole and Derek
This week, Nicole and Derek are dancing the Quickstep and they will be portraying two sailors slacking off. As you know, any time there’s anything nautical on a reality show, someone is going to end up going all Kate and Leo on the bow of a boat. Just add alcohol and you have Nicole and Derek. We watch Nicole being emotional in rehearsal and Derek tells us that she’s really terrified and not as confident as she seems.
Dancing to “Anything Goes,” Nicole and Derek start their routine swabbing the
deckstage with mops. They wear matching white sailor suits, although only Nicole wears the Shirley Temple curls. It’s a cute routine, but there’s a lot of goofing off and not a lot of Quickstep. Len is going to hate this. The crowd does love it, which was probably the goal.
Predictably, Len is not happy. He thinks they took the title of the song too literally. They broke the rules twice – there was a lift and they broke hold. Len accuses them of trying to take the mickey out of the judges this week. The dance was beautifully done, Len says, but it wasn’t a Quickstep. Bruno says that, as a performance, it was incredible and invokes the names of Ann Miller and Gene Kelly (thus, evoking my irritation because these two don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with those dance legends). In the end though, Bruno agrees with Len: they should have kept hold all the way through the dance. Carrie Ann, aka the Lift Police, is not happy. She also mentions that they broke hold. Still, if they take that act on the road, Carrie Ann says she’ll be in the front row.
Carrie Ann: 8
Here’s what the leader board looks like tonight:
Evan and Anna: 26/30
Nicole and Derek: 23/30
Erin and Maks: 23/30
Jake and Chelsie: 21/30
Niecy and Louis: 21/30
Pam and Damian: 21/30
Chad and Cheryl: 20/30
Aiden and Edyta: 20/30
Kate and Tony: 15/30
Buzz and Ashley: 13/30
Who will go home this week? Stay tuned for MFWalkoff’s recap to find out!