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Thread: Dancing with the Stars Recap 9/20: Nobody Puts Shanna in the Corner

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    Dancing with the Stars Recap 9/20: Nobody Puts Shanna in the Corner

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    Wow, it's been a whole twenty-four hours since last we met. In that time we've dusted off our dancing shoes and warmed up our leg-warmers. We've scribbled notes in our little Clue books, and tried to solve a mystery: Who thought up this show, and why do stars want to be on it? Who reaaaally injured Kym's leg. Kym tried to tell us that her knee just popped out of place while dancing. But we saw through that to the ruthless underbelly of the Hollywood ballroom dance scene. Didn't know there was a Hollywood ballroom dance scene? Aha. Shows just how clever they've been.

    But what am I talking about - conspiracy theories? Ballet exercises? T-shirted teams of Tibia Terrorists? Time for all would-be Marples and Poirots to put their notebooks aside: A passel o' celebrities are lining up to be judged. You don't get this opportunity every day. The orchestra's tuning up for the schadenfreude samba - let's begin!

    If you watched last night's show, you know that 10 couples competed for the chance to move forward another week in this competition. And you also know (because they told you) that one couple must say goodbye this week. It's like the end of summer camp, when you know you won't be able to short-sheet any more bunks. All good things must end.

    And so, in the misty twilight is known as 'this week's elimination episode', we see an opening montage of last night's dance numbers. The editors have chosen the salient images from each pair. Somehow there seems to be a lot of images of Willa writhing; perhaps the editors have another agenda at hand. Then we see the pairs listed by rank. It was also covered in yesterday's recap, but what the hey - here it is again:

    First place goes to Joey and Edyta with a 29 score; second place belongs to Monique and Louis with a 26; two couples occupy the same spot for third place: Vivica and Nick, and Emmitt and Cheryl both have 24 points. The fifth place spot is occupied by Willa and Maksim (23 points); sixth by Shanna and Jesse (22 points); Harry and Ashly, bless them, are tied with two other couples for seventh place - Mario & Karina and Sara & Tony - all with 21 points. Jerry and Kym tag along behind hoping to catch up, with a slim 19 point score.

    But Domino's delivers

    Referring to Len's metaphor of last evening, Berg-a-mot (TM VeronicaBelle) of the bon mots calls Gentle Len "Mr. Pizza Man" and asks which couple the judges have chosen as "most entertaining". This is because the couple chosen gets to mock us repeat their dance number, a second time. Ever raising the barre, Len the gentleman says that the judges had "quite a challenge" choosing but that they would love to see Joey and Edyta's Quick Step again. This choice garners shrieks of approval from the audience.

    Somehow Joey and Edyta's performance is even better than last night's. Joey could fit in with any of the professional dancers at this point. As partners, these two anticipate each other's moves and rhythm; as individual dancers, they are precise and keep their movements light. Joey seems absolutely joyful. The audience applauds; and yes - that's a standing ovation!

    And congratulations, Debbie Plevo from Indiana for winning the "Mystery Star" contest DWTS has been holding during its commercial breaks. Donny Osmond was the star dancing in the shadows. Hey DWTS - bring him into the light! He's fantastic! Ask anyone who's seen him in Joseph. But for now, we must make do with Julio Iglesias, up after the break. Ohh, if you insist, ABC.

    Who's Your Friend When Things Get Rough?

    Tom B wants us to see what the show's professional dancers "can do when they are not being judged" - so, the show puts them into 1980s dancewear and chooses Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" for them to prove themselves by.

    The song begins with Karina crawling on all fours toward the camera. (Why do I keep getting the feeling this show is choreographed by someone who teaches those 'strip exercise' classes?) Maksim is waiting for Karina Kat and I think they are about to dance. I'm right! He leaps high into the air, and picks Karina up off the floor, and they begin jitterbugging. Because dance numbers are always so logical.

    All the other pro dancers enter the stage. The dance number that ensues is a cross between Dirty Dancing and Six Flags Over Mid-America. Matter of fact, with all those black outfits on stage, I keep expecting Sid and Marty Krofft's puppets to come out. Still, anything that vaguely recalls Dirty Dancing's dance numbers, I'll take. I just hope Billy Idol can't hear his song being slowly strangled. It's enough to turn a person's hair white and make it stand on end. Wait... maybe it's OK then.

    Now the dancers pair off to showcase themselves a little more closely. They can't use the excuse of the amateurs dragging them down this time - and some do not shine as well as others. Cheryl seems a tad heavy for some of the lifts. Most blend together forgettably. Maksim and Karina truly stand out, however. Maksim works it and works it, nailing every move. He's the Patrick Swayze of this piece, without the burden of dialogue. One senses that if he truly unleashed himself during his duets with Willa, he'd spin her right through the floor, kind of like Bugs Bunny when he really needs to drill a hole and run away from Elmer Fudd.

    Samantha interviews some of the celebrities. Who cares. Bring back Maksim! Bring back Maksim! He just needs a "Baby" to complete this storyline - he's already got the professional dance partner who's a bit jaded. I think I know just who would fit Baby's role, but more on that in a minute.

    Rainy Days and Gymnastics Always Get Me Down

    Right now we have to listen to Vivica Fox talk about how her cartwheel got her so emotional she cried, or something like that. Mario says he is concerned about his place in the contest after hearing the judges' comments last night. He dimples a lot and says he was only trying to have fun. Tom scores his first laugh of the evening (or the season?) when he ad libs that Willa (in her interview just prior - it wasn't worth recapping, trust me) may have hit upon a spin-off idea, "Welcome to - Somebody's Gotta Suck!". The audience gives up some surprised laughter.

    Next we watch film clips of last night's in-studio audience commenting on Tuesday's performances. It's pretty much a sampling of people who prefer any given celebrity, so just imagine some of those cheezy ads for a new movie, where the audience raves, and that's this segment. Ted Danson chooses Harry to win, saying his "heart goes out to him". (Mine too Ted: but don't tell anyone, okay? And I won't tell anyone either.) The most hilarious audience reviewers are two friends who sound like SNL's 'girlymen', complete with accents (this show is lodestone for foreign dipthongs) but dress like SNL's Butabi brothers. Somebody's Mom An attractive middle-aged woman in a sparkly dress says she "doesn't know who's gonna go home" and can't pick. Somewhere, a family's shrieking around their Tv set that "Mom's on Tv!" - and that's kind of cool.

    So who's coming back next week? The viewer votes and the judges' scores have been added, the Sid and Marty Krofft Puppeteers have left the stage, and we're told that Sara & Tony, Emmitt & Cheryl, and Joey & Edyta will be back next Tuesday for sure - but that one of the remaining couples won't. Now our (new) Mystery Star is seen dancing in mist and shadow. I don't want to give it away, but by the look of that triangular head, his name rhymes with Smarsnimeo Small. (Was choice #4 really "Denzel Washington"? Suure.)

    Julio Iglesias is here and he is singing "I Wanna Know What Love Is". Wait... there's Maksim. And Cheryl. And it's Maksim. What's the vague warbling sound I hear in the background? I dunno - here's Maksim! He of the improbably large shoulders and stilts for legs. Aw, who cares if his ego's huge. So are his... shoulders. And you can't take your eyes off him. Poor Julio's reduced to being a backdrop. If this episode were Dirty Dancing, Julio would be bringing the watermelon.

    People Who Live in Crass Houses

    Samantha is interviewing three more couples and bla, bla, they all hope to work harder and do better. Tom insults dancer Tony's hair. Tom, Tom. Glass houses. Glass houses with dry rot and faulty electrical wiring. And a few cracks in the old roof.

    A Tyson Who Isn't Chewing Someone's Ear

    Tysonia Tangos! Our SlimFast Dance Challenge winner is learning yet another dance. She seems to be having a lot of fun. Her teacher describes the tango as "an arrogant, elegant dance". (I predict Maksim will knock next week's Tango competition out of the park. Arrogant? check. Elegant? Well - I don't know. He has huge... tracts of Tango.) The teacher talks about the Tangoer "stalking his prey". Yeh, I'd say this is a dance Maks was born to. (Why am I picturing half the female home audience leaping up to tie a T-bone around their neck?) Meanwhile, for an amateur especially, Tysonia's doing very well. I'm not sure where this challenge is going, but she and her family look very happy.

    What a coincidence! Tom announces that next week's dance for the DWTS contestants is the Tango. We see two more of the pro dancers demonstrate said dance. That's all well and good, but isn't this the part of the movie where Baby steps in? She has to practise atop a sunken log, and in freezing water. They'd better get to it, or this episode will have no ending. Worse yet, neither will this recap, and we can't have that! Nevermind, they can stick to their game show, cut in with pro dance performances if they want to. The studio audience loved it, so, I guess.

    Heeee's baaaack! And he's - Borat!

    Tucker wasn't done yet! If this were Dirty Dancing, he'd be the mean waiter who wants to go to Harvard but isn't very nice. Okay, so he has a sense of humor about himself and isn't trying to get Baby's older sister into bed. Instead, Mr. Carlson conducts a fake interview segment in which he tries to get the judges to say how much they loved him. Well maybe he's that waiter after all. He's sure making Bruno sweat - but then that's nothing new. Bruno needs his own squeegee valet. This man sweats more on television than Richard Nixon in his 1960 live debate with JFK.

    Back to the live stage, Tombee teases Len about his use of British slang last night. Tom, it really wasn't that funny the first time. Mercifully, we learn who is continuing to next week. The next two returnees are Monique & Louis, and Team Hashly. Harry looked so sad before his name was called and - well, he actually cracked a smile, after his name was called - it is kind of touching that it means this much to him. I don't know why - but it seems to. Well, either that made him smile, or someone snuck the Oil Can on stage.

    You Don't Have to Put on the Red Light

    Before the next batch of returnees are named, we hear brief snippets of the remaining stars saying how much they want to return and how hard it is to stand there waiting for their name to be called. So by all means ABC - keep them waiting to hear their name called, live in national Tv, while they hear themselves say how hard that is. Ohh, you brutal broadcasters. (I love it.) The bottom three listed couples are about to be named - Monique interviews that standing under the red light is "like hell". Well, you know. Sartre said hell is other people. The vote's announced: Vivica & Nick, Jerry & Kym, Mario & Karina continue on; Willa & Maksim, and Shanna & Jesse are damned to the red light district. This must be Shanna's worst nightmare, since she's said over and over how much she doesn't want to go home. T-Biddy draws out the suspense, and Shanna's last nerve I'm sure, by refusing to say who's out 'til after the break.

    Shanna & Jesse's names are called; they must turn in their sequins and go home. That's okay, Shanna; in a movie, this is just where things would be turning around. In a movie things are always darkest before the dawn. So maybe things are just beginning! Shanna and Jesse break away from Willa and Maksim's hugs, to say their goodbyes to the camera; with all Shanna has had to cope with lately, can she have had this turn of bad luck?

    If this were Dirty Dancing - Maksim Swayze would come to Shanna's rescue, improbably and inescapably, lifting her high over his head triumphantly - while Baby's father Tom Bergeron scowls tearfully. But this is ABC's Dancing with the Stars, so instead, Shanna has to stumble around the floor in a sad daze to the house band's rendition of "Leavin' On A Jet Plane". Subtle, ABC. (And with this show's budget, she'll probably be "Leavin' On a City Bus".) I guess life is not the movies... Even when it's televised. But, you know what Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner". And I'm sure Shanna has... had... the time of her life. And she owes it all to you.

    And now: let's cue the spotlight on AJane! AJane will be here to recap Tuesday and Wednesday's two new live episodes. So come back next week, DWTS fans, for some Tango-ing and - that's no Jive!
    Last edited by Brandy; 09-22-2006 at 02:23 AM.

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