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I don’t have one of those fancy-dancy wireless laptops. No sir, in the household of the Average Jane, we rely on a good old-fashioned Dell desktop PC. And it’s in a separate room, away from the TV. You get to channel surf or surf the web, but not at the same time. That’s not something that ever bothered me much, until tonight. Because I can type numbers a lot faster than I can write ‘em down, and I wrote down a lot of numbers tonight. I had to write them really fast, because I have to confess something – I can barely add. Same with subtraction. Multiplication tables I memorized for a test in the 4th grade and then promptly forgot. Long division…fuhgedaboudit. So imagine my horror when I heard Tom Bergeron announce that last week’s scores, along with this week’s – which are two separate point totals out of 30! – will be added together for a grand total of the judges’ scores, which will then be added to the viewer votes for this week and last. *wheezes* Sorry, that’s my math anxiety kicking in.
I’m sure that’s small potatoes compared to the
anticipationanxiety poor Jerry Springer is feeling, as he teeters on the brink of elimination. His fellow bottom 2 dweller, Joey Lawrence, is blinking furiously, licking his lips, and bobbing his head in anticipation – we’re worried about Jerry’s health? Joey looks like his head is about to explode. Let’s get to the dance floor before the paramedics get called in, shall we?
And now, the end is near, as I face the final curtain
As our stars had to learn two new dances this week, the first half of the show will be ballroom, while the second will be Latin dance. Jerry & partner Kym are kicking off the ballroom dancing with a foxtrot. Jerry, the eternal optimist, calls this week his delayed execution. But he’s determined to go out with dignity – daughter Katie called him and has requested that he lay off the clown act and try harder. A girl is never too old to be daddy’s little princess, and Jerry, touchingly, says he is going to treat this week’s dances seriously and make a real effort. And he keeps his word to Katie, as he and Kym come close to matching their tearjerker waltz performance from a few weeks ago, as they foxtrot to Sinatra’s My Way. Jerry’s improvement as a dancer is amazing – there’s virtually no resemblance to the guy who staggered through the cha-cha-cha in week one. Our judges are in a helluva pickle when it comes to Jerry – you can see that he’s charmed the pants off them, but they still want to put him out of his misery. Head judge Len congratulates him for a job well done, and a correctly executed foxtrot. Bruno exclaims that Fred Flintstone has turned into Fred Astaire, dating himself and confusing the hell out of all viewers age 35 and younger. Carrie Ann assures Jerry that he did a great job, but still lacks confidence. Backstage, Jerry admits to co-host Sam that although his tux ‘n’ tails is a great suit to be laid out in, he doesn’t want the tape of last week’s dance to play at his funeral, hence the greater effort this week. The judges give Jerry & Kym a round of 8’s, for 24 out of 30, which combined with last week, gives them a 42 out of 60 so far tonight. Whew, that wasn’t so bad – for me, I mean. Sam has done the math so far – well, she’s had to read it off a cue card, anyway. That can be tricky too, I’m sure.
With the unexpected departure of Sara Evans last week, Monique Coleman is last female star remaining in the competition. And Monique is representin’ for the ladies, so to give her a little extra shot of grrrl power, High School Musical costar Ashley Tisdale is called in to give Monique a girls’ day out. Apparently hoping to impress them with his fashion sense, Monique’s dancing partner Louis feels the need to tag along with the girls. Monique and Ashley giggle through their shopping trip and makeovers, while Louis hovers behind them, pretending to hate every moment. The girls mostly ignore him, and I’m almost certain Ashley calls him “Larry” at one point. Let’s hope poor Larry doesn’t put his back out carrying the girls’ shopping bags and can help Monique quickstep her way to some high scores this evening. It’s more Sinatra, more often, as the pair hits the floor to Luck Be A Lady. Monique is resplendent in a spangly, feathered purple gown, with her hair arranged in a Diana Ross-esque ‘do. I have to give Louis some credit here – he’s the pro and obviously the superior dancer, but he has consistently done an amazing job making Monique the center of attention in their routines, and showcasing her strengths. Yeah, he’s a little creepy, and he’s no hottie like our dearly departed Maksim, but he may be the best pro to have for a partner in this competition. The judges are duly impressed with the performance, not least because as Carrie Ann points out, Monique danced half the routine with her foot stuck in the feathery hem of her dress. Carrie Ann assures Monique that the dance was still elegant and would have been worthy of a 10 had she not tripped. Bruno squeals that the wild child has turned into a magical lady, and Len calls the pair light, bright, and dy-no-mite! (Listen, I’m a child of the ‘70’s, and I can never hear that word without Jimmy Walker’s hyperbole. Now who’s dating herself?) Backstage, Sam gets in a shot at poor Jerry, reminding Monique that she’s nearly 40 years younger than her fellow competitor. Monique, obviously a nice girl who was taught to respect her elders, politely tells Sam that although youth is on her side, the other stars have experience she may lack. The judges reward Monique’s good manners and bravura performance with three 9’s, for 27 out of 30, and a grand total of 50 out of 60.
Because your complexion takes a hell of a beating on the gridiron
Emmitt Smith is a real likeable guy. A retired football hero. A man’s man. Perhaps too manly to really be an effective ballroom dancer, thinks partner Cheryl. The solution? A mud pack and a pedicure should do the trick! Emmitt is whisked away for some “man-pampering” – funny, I thought men generally pampered themselves with a case of beer and some girl-on-girl porn. I’m betting that’s what Emmitt slipped away to do after his cucumber peel. Thus well-prepared, he & Cheryl are waltzing this week to Hushabye Mountain. The judges are in raptures over their performance, but I’m not as taken with Emm as they are – actually, I find him to be a little wooden. And – hah! – Len agrees. However, Len also thinks that the routine was lovely, stark, and that Emm & Cheryl have great harmony. Bruno calls Emm “the lord of the manor” (huh?) and Carrie Ann enthuses that they nailed it, and that she was mesmerized by their footwork. She thinks it’s worth a 10, and Len & Bruno are only slightly less impressed and award 9’s, to give the pair 28 out of 30, and a 53 out of 60 total. Sam fails, as usual, to engage Emmitt in any entertaining backstage banter, as he rumbles something about his being out of his element, but he’s trained to handle pressure. Poor Sam – but c’mon, how many athletes give good interview? There’s only one Charles Barkley…hey, now there would be a candidate for next season. You show that Bruno who’s the real lord of the manor, Sir Charles!
Eva Longoria must be getting kinda jealous. There’s no sign of her in the audience tonight, and there’s also no sign of the get-a-room-already sexual heat between Mario Lopez & Karina. Instead, we get some clips of Mario in a headband sniping at Karina at the practice studio, and a cute huggy-feely visit home where he cradles his infant niece and even feeds her a bottle. Mario is so carried away with baby love, he dedicates tonight’s dances to the little one. But instead of opting to foxtrot to something sweet and cuddly like Emm & Cheryl’s lullaby, he & Karina go with…Marilyn Monroe. Karina has obviously pissed off her stylist, because someone has gotten her to don an ugly, ill-fitting blonde wig that makes her look more like a transvestite celebrity impersonator than the famous blonde bombshell. Bizarre headgear notwithstanding, she & Mario give their usual entertaining performance, and the judges lap it up. Delicious, Bruno drools…the playboy and the sex kitten! Carrie Ann thinks it was elegant & charming, and Len likes it also…except, he says, it’s the first time he’s ever seen a foxtrot without one heel lead. Exactly what I was thinking. Len & I are definitely on the same wavelength tonight. That heel lead costs Mario a point, as Len doles out a 9, but there’s more love from Carrie Ann & Bruno, who give out 10’s for a near-perfect 29 out of 30, and a grand total of 57 out 60.
Not a bit of the old ultra-violence
If Joey Lawrence isn’t the most sincere guy in Hollywood, he’s gotta be the best actor. I actually believe the guy when he earnestly tells us that he loves this show and desperately wants to be given another chance. I even believe him when he says he loves Gene Kelly and is stoked because he & partner Edyta are going to be foxtrotting to Singin’ In The Rain. Edyta humors Joey’s fanboy side and takes him to practice in the MGM lot that the Gene Kelly movie was filmed in. Joey’s so excited, he runs around the movie set like a ADHD kid on his first day off Ritalin. It would be cuter if Joey wasn’t, you know, 30 years old. But no matter, because the boy can dance! I’m a little disappointed because he & Edyta are going the traditional route with Singin’ In The Rain…I was holding out a faint hope that Joey might have emerged in a white jumpsuit and bowler hat, a là Alex de Large in a Clockwork Orange. Listen, you know Bruno would have liked it too. As it turns out, their interpretation works out pretty well, and the judges fawn over Joey & Edyta – Carrie Ann says the routine was flawless, Bruno calls it a great tribute to Gene Kelly, and Len tells Joey he has no heels or balls. Yet more proof of my synchronicity with the old guy, because I couldn’t agree more, it would’ve taken real cojones to have gone with the Clockwork Orange theme…oh. He’s actually talking about that heel lead thing again. Nevermind. Um…anyway, Carrie Ann & Bruno give another pair of perfect 10’s, and a 9 from Len make it another 29 out of 30, with a 53 out of 60 total.
This is normally where we’d wrap up…except that we’re only halfway through tonight. Psych! There’s the Latin dances to get through yet, and for the fellow math-impaired, the leaderboard so far goes like this: Mario & Karina in 1st place, then Emmitt & Cheryl, Joey & Edyta, Monique & Louis, and Jerry & Kym in the basement.
Annie I’m Not Your Daddy – the song, not the Springer episode
Without any ado whatsoever, Tom introduces Jerry & Kym, who will also lead off the Latin portion of the show with the mambo. Jerry goes all Ricardo Montalban in white pants, vest, and hat, and he & Kym fall back into their half dance/half slapstick style. And it’s all style, no substance whatsoever, but the judges continue to cut Jerry some slack – the toughest comment comes courtesy of Carrie Ann, who tells Jerry he’s just not on the same page as the others (to which Jerry heartily agrees). Len & Bruno give him the usual joyful/entertaining speech, and Jerry weakly requests that he be allowed to just do a comedy routine between the others’ dances. Sam remarks backstage that after two dances, Jerry is still standing – who are you gonna pick on next week, Sam? – but Kym loyally stands by her partner and says he’s greatly improved and that she will miss him when this is all over. The judges are ready to start missing Jerry, if the scores are any indication – there’s a pair of 7’s from Carrie Ann & Bruno, and an 8 from Len, for a miserly 22 out of 30. Now for the hard math stuff – their total for the night *deep breath* - 64 out of 90.
Oh Rio, Rio, dance across the Rio Grande
Now, if I remember correctly, the Paso Doble is the bullfighting dance of passion, or something like that. So the obvious musical choice is Duran Duran. I bet Monique has never even heard of those guys. And, I’m a little disappointed Louis didn’t at least make an effort to get Simon LeBon’s 1983 hairstyle right. No matter, as they somehow make The Reflex into a Spanish-style dance, and a darn good one. Until the end, when Louis unceremoniously drops Monique to the ground so suddenly you can almost hear the thud when she hits the floor. Either he did hurt his back carrying Monique & Ashley’s shopping bags, or it’s plain old payback. Tom is busting a gut over this, but it’s no surprise that the guy who hosts America’s Funniest Home Videos finds this to be the highlight of the evening. The judges are more focused on the dance itself – Carrie Ann thinks it was filled with excitement & risk, and Bruno’s filled with some of that as well – he leers at Monique, calling her a “tough cookie”, and likes her stomping and submitting. Len likes it also, but he continues to get technical this evening, and complains about the underarm turns. Nobody thinks the routine was perfection, though, and it’s 9’s all around for a 27 out of 30, and their night’s total is 77 out of 90.
Sir Shimmy shakes Cheryl in suspenders – say it 5 times, really fast
The lord of the manor turns mambo king, though Emmitt’s attire is decidedly non-regal – black pants, black suspenders, red shirt, and red and black shoes. A bit too matchy-matchy for me, but what do I know about dressing celebrity dancers? He & Cheryl pull off a mambo that can only be described as exuberant – the audience loves it, and is on their feet applauding the pair’s effort. Bruno gasps that the beast is unleashed, Carrie Ann calls Emm “Sir Shimmy” – not a nickname many guys would appreciate, I’m sure – and Len declares the dance the best of the season. He & Carrie Ann bestow 10’s, while Bruno is booed heartily for only giving out a 9. That’s still a near-perfect 29 out of 30, and Emm & Cheryl end the night with 82 out of 90 points.
Mario and Karina, sans blonde wig, will shake their tailfeathers and perform the jive for their second number tonight. Maybe it’s because I’m so relieved that Karina has
burnedtaken off the wig, but I’m focused on her during this routine. Actually, I’m staring at her feet, because maybe it’s just me, but her footwork seems particularly impressive during this performance. It’s more entertaining and enjoyable to me than their foxtrot was, but the judges seem a little let down. Carrie Ann comments that while they’re completely in sync, Mario seemed a little uncomfortable. Len likes the vitality but was unhappy with Mario’s arm movements, and Bruno concurs. It’s all worth a set of 9’s, so another 27 out of 30 nets Mario & Karina a score of 84 out of 90.
A little bit of Joey’s all I need
Thank you, Joey & Edyta - finally, a song choice that makes obvious – maybe a little too obvious – sense. The pair will mambo to Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5, and how can you screw that up? Well, maybe you can, or maybe I’m just giddy with joy because I know this is the last performance of the night, but this was my personal favorite dance of the night. The music is just goofy enough to suit Joey perfectly, and the judges obviously like this pair enough to try to mitigate the bottom 2 scores from last week. There’s praise from all three – Bruno says the footwork was sharp, Len thinks Joey’s hips were workin’ it, and Carrie Ann agrees that it was great – however, there’s more criticism about those underarm turns. The scores are slightly more forgiving for Joey than Monique – Carrie Ann & Len hand out 9’s, but Bruno is feeling generous and gifts the pair with a 10. That’s 28 out of 30, for a total of 81 out of 90.
There’s a brief recap of all the performances, while the scores are being frantically tabulated off-camera – I guess I could figure out the leaderboard myself after all, but to be on the safe side, I’ll wait and watch the tape in slo-mo for the results of the judges’ scores:
1st place – Mario & Karina, 84/90
2nd – Emmitt & Cheryl, 82/90
3rd – Joey & Edyta, 81/90
4th – Monique & Louis, 77/90
5th – Jerry & Kym, 64/90
It seems a forgone conclusion that tonight’s performances should be Jerry’s swan song, but I think Tom Bergeron has more fans than one might think – there just has to be a whole lot of AFHV viewers that enjoy watching people in pain, and are voting their butts off for Jerry. How else can you explain it?
Martina McBride and the results are up on Wednesday night…and yes, dear readers, there will also be a recap up by yours truly shortly thereafter. I’ll be fine, as long as it doesn’t involve adding double-digit numbers in my head…
Aspiring math tutors can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.