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We're down to seven couples, and we still have a two hour show, so you know what that means. Yep. Even more filler than last week. I tell you what, this show has more padding than a Victoria's Secret store. The first thirty minutes were nothing but a rehash of yet more auditions: some good, some bad, some in between. None that I cared about, as I made my way into the kitchen to get some snacks. Almost forty minutes into the show, they finally introduce the judges: Nigel, Mary, and Dan will be providing the snark tonight. The guest dancers of the week are Lil' C and the F Squad, who do a krump routine to "Spaz Meter" by Tha J-Squad. Don't ask me what the initials stand for, or what's up with all the squads. I'm clueless as they get to stomping around the stage, nearly knocking a camera over. I just don't care for this style, honestly, and I'm glad when it's over. Make with the dancing already!

Taking It To The Street
Starting off the fun tonight (finally!) is the duo of Heidi and Ryan, who reach into the magic hat to draw their dance: it’s hip hop, to be choreographed by Shane Sparks. Poor Heidi – she really puts her heart into it, and tries to take on a tough “street” persona to match the routine, but she looks about as dangerous as Barney the Dinosaur. Honestly, I don’t think she could give a mean look if she tried. I’ll give her credit for the attempt, though. They perform to “Give It All You Got” by Afrorican, and she does give it all she’s got. Ryan? Honestly, he just sort of blends into the background for me. Heidi seems to grab all the attention onstage, and maybe that’s a good thing for Ryan. The routine was nice, and they were technically good, but there wasn’t a whole lot of feeling in it. The judges give it mostly good reviews, with Mary calling her a “funky little white girl” while Dan said it was okay, but seemed like a cheerleading routine at times. I'd really like to see Heidi paired up with a different partner, one who has a bit more personality.

Salsa - Not Just A Condiment
Travis and Martha are up next, and they draw a salsa. Travis jokes that all he knows about salsa is that it’s something he puts on his chips! It’s this couple’s first ballroom routine, and it shows in the practice clip. Maybe it’s just me, but these two are an odd match – and I can’t get past Travis’s strange haircut. It’s distracting, and takes away from the “role” he is supposed to be playing. They dance to “Tanga” by Machito and his Afro-Cubans, and Martha looks amazing in a little pink dress that shows off her figure (and her Tina Turner-like legs). The routine goes okay, but there wasn’t a lot of sex appeal to it. Perhaps Travis sticking his tongue out while Martha was shaking her booty killed it for me. Plus, the ending seemed a little off. The judges have mixed opinions again as Nigel and Mary were lukewarm on the performance, telling Travis he was a little too sharp, but Dan thought it was hot and completely entertaining. Hot? If you say so, Dan.

Cast A Spell On Me
Couple number three tonight is lady-killer Dmitry and new partner Ashlee. Will Ashlee survive the curse of being Dmitry’s partner? We’ll see. They draw a contemporary dance (groan) to be choreographed by the bitchy Brian Friedman. Neither dancer has done a contemporary routine before, and Brian has come up with a strange story to go with this one: Ashlee will play a doll in a toy shop, while Dmitry will play a crazed magician who casts a spell on her that makes her “live.” They perform to “Dance Dance” by Fall Out Boy, and it is one weird, frantic routine, with both dancers jumping and running around the stage. As out there as the routine was, I was still fascinated by it. Or maybe it was just Dmitry’s chest. *ahem* Once again, the judges do not agree – Nigel thought it was entertaining, making a comment about Dmitry being a magician because he’s made two partners disappear (har har), and Mary said they did a great job, commenting that “what girl wouldn’t want to be chased by Dmitry?” I would, Mary, I would. Sourpuss Dan didn’t care for it, saying that they didn’t play their characters. The judges argue a bit after that comment, with Mary and Nigel telling Dan to “talk to the hand.”



Disco Is Dead. Really.
Natalie and Musa are up next, and they pick disco as their dance of the night. Either this is going to be really good, or really bad. I wish they’d just drop the disco theme, myself. It was pure cheese in it's heyday, and there are more interesting styles to use. They have trouble in practice (doesn't everyone?) with the lifts, but Nat puts on a brave face and allows Musa to fling her about. Dancing to “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer, Natalie embodies the title of the song, while Musa is just…there. He seems to be a prop for Nat, someone to lift and spin her around. Maybe it’s just my bias against disco, but I wasn’t really thrilled with this one. They pulled off a few nice tricks and lifts, but...meh. The judges disagree with me, as Mary gives her trademark “Woo!” and proclaims that Musa just went from crap to caviar, and Dan tells them that if sex sells, they just made a million dollars. Whatever. Natalie is another one I'd love to see with a different partner. I like Musa, but he doesn't have a great stage presence.

Viet...Viyen...Vee...Oh, Just Forget It
Judge’s pets Donyelle and Benji are next, and they draw the Viennese Waltz. Or, as Donyelle puts it, the Vietnamese Waltz. They show her struggling to spit out the correct pronunciation, but she just can’t do it. I’ll give her a break, as the poor kid is dancing with a broken toe, which just amazes me. This dance is faster than a regular waltz, and the two dancers have the usual troubles in practice. Donyelle keeps choking Benji (I hope by accident) and Benji is told that he just isn’t masculine enough, and must find his inner Dmitry. Cut to a clip of Benji standing next to Dmitry, trying to learn those hip moves. *sigh* Where can I sign up for that class? Anyhow, they take the stage to “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams (what is up with that song choice? Kenny Rogers was bad enough!) and they do very well, considering. My only gripe is Benji’s constant smiling throughout the performance, but hey. I think these two could get up and do the Cabbage Patch and get rave reviews. For once, the judges all agree – Nigel says it was bloody marvelous, Mary tells Donyelle that she may not be able to say it, but she sure can dance a Viennese waltz, and Dan says they are the most entertaining couple. The girls in the crowd scream as Benji does his Dmitry face, which cracks me up. These two can do no wrong.

Shiny Happy People
Ivan and Allison end up with West Coast swing, and are disappointed by the pick. So am I, because I know I’m going to end up comparing them to Benji, who really rocks at swing. They put their disappointment aside and Allison exclaims that they can do it, they’re both smiley, happy people - and they both look like they’re twelve. Well, baby-faced Ivan does, anyway. Choreographer Ron tells them not to look too happy, though, and they perform to weird song choice number two, "Don't Happen No More" by Pat Benatar. Allison wears some of the craziest-looking fringed pants I've ever seen as they perform. I was hoping for a fast-paced number, but apparently the West Coast style is slower and more slinky/sexy than East Coast. I'm not seeing the slinky or the sexy, but the judges seem to love these two: all three agreed that it was fantastic, perfect, and fun. I just don't get the pimping of these two.

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?
Last couple of the night is Jaymz and Jessica, who get a hip hop routine by Shane Sparks. Somehow everyone ends up in camoflage during practice, and Shane assumes the role of Drill Sergeant, threatening to smack anyone who isn't "getting it" with a towel. Jessica better hide, because she can't pop to save her life. The ballet dancer tries, but she's just too smooth. It doesn't get any better during their performance to "I Can Make You Dance" by Zapp, either. Jaymz does well enough, but Jessica seems like she's concentrating too hard and not letting herself just feel the rhythm. And the costumes reached a new level of suckiness. Come on, wardrobe people. The judges are divided: Nigel said it was hip hop by the numbers, with no feeling, and Dan agreed that they didn't have the technique and were "faking it." Only Mary thought it was a good performance. Jaymz and Jessica complain that they thought they did well, considering it wasn't even close to their specialties - until Nigel reminds them that this is what the show is about. I forsee another appearance in the bottom three for this couple.

It's getting harder to pick a couple to get sent home, but there are still a few left that just aren't quite up to par with the rest. Will Dmitry's new partner Ashlee break the curse? Will Jaymz go down in flaymz? (Sorry, I had to.) Check out the results show to find out if your picks get gone and your favorites stay. See you then!

Seriously. I want to sign up for Dmitry's booty-shaking class. waywyrd@fansofrealitytv.com