4/11 DWTS 12 Recap: Classic Classical with Feathers and Stabbings
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I am in a dream…covered by flowers, gored by a bull, I die. No, wait…I live only to drink poison, then die. No, wait…I am saved by a Viking. No, wait…I take flight to dream again. For the First Time EVER! A night devoted to Classical music. From opera to a popular movie theme, from flowers to toreadors, imagery and storytelling will key the night. Along with an expanded 46 piece orchestra, two stars in the classical world, violinist David Garrett and Mezzo-Soprano Katherine Jenkins, will bring their talent as jewels to complete this crowning moment for Dancing with the Stars.
It is goodbye fog (with one exception) and hello fire jets. Let’s hope that unlike the misuse of red fog last week, nobody gets burned this week. It is also a tight competition with five judges’ points separating the top of the leader board from the bottom, so…somebody could get figuratively burned if they fall out of sync with the music (easy to do this week) or stumble or fall or any number of things. But, rather than displaying nerves, the Stars are fired up for the competition. Even Ralph won’t be flipping pancakes with his hands, but that is for later…first a message from Tom.
Tom: Like on the result shows, the special guests will set the mood before the couples step on the floor. (A 20 second delay.)
Oksana and KiKi from the Dance Troupe demonstrate the Paso Doble with fire jets shooting and David Garrett’s bow flying across the strings of his violin. Now if our contestants can find a fit to the music as they did…
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower: Paso Doble “Palladio. First Movement” Karl Jenkins
Field trips are back this week and the first one goes to Romeo who played basketball in college. Chelsie thinks the aggression he displays on the court will carry over to their dance.
Romeo is excited for Classical Week as he is a big fan of classical music.
Their Paso drives as fast and furious as the music. The steps are tight and strong, and then there is the (gratuitous) awkward strip of the toreador jacket by Romeo before he takes a leaping kill of the bull.
Len: Have a bit of decorum, dear boy…but the dance was full of passion, attack. You (Chelsie) need to get the whip out and work on technique, but other than that, great dance.
Bruno: Forceful, action packed and six-packed as well. I don’t know if you realize how difficult this music was. The musical phrasing is unbelievably difficult, and you managed to get it right.
Carrie Ann: (The lift policewoman blows her whistle) I found a little lift in the middle and am deducting for that, but that is the first time I’ve ever seen a Paso with swagger. That was fantastic, powerful, really confident.
Carrie Ann: 7 Len 8 Bruno 8 Total: 23
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel: Viennese Waltz “Con te Partito (Time to Say Goodbye)” Andrea Bocelli (sung by Katherine Jenkins)
Kendra is almost defiant in denying elegance. She was so disappointed to learn they had a ballroom dance and not a sexy Latin dance this week. Rather than hearing the romantic message in this music, she latches onto the Italian origin and thinks of the Mafia killing an opponent. She wants to dance it as a gangster.
Kendra: I’m the Godmother of the Viennese Waltz, baby.
Dressed in Al Capone pinstripes, she goes for strength rather than a sweeping flow. Though she has nice extensions, her feet want to step rather than glide.
Bruno: Kendra – you messed it up and you know that. Technique is hard to achieve, but this is a song of heart breaking longing. You should become one with the music. (Kendra: With more than four days of practice, I would be there.)
Carrie Ann: I see that you are trying really hard. That is no easy choreography. Take it to the next level of technique because technique is going to save you for the rest of the competition.
Len: I couldn’t figure out the Mafia, but Katherine Jenkins is a soprano…ta da! Ha Ha. Bruno forgets you are beginners – it had flow, it had movement, it had some skips here and there, but don’t forget, Bruno, these people are beginners. Don’t be cruel, be like me.
Carrie Ann 6 Len 6 Bruno 6 Total: 18
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunsakaya: Viennese Waltz “”Waltz of the Flowers” Tchaikovsky
Anna: I was in your world last week, now welcome to my world of the Russian Classical Ballet.
Sugar Ray: Anna had three days to teach a boxer how to be graceful and elegant.
Field Trip! To ballet school to show him what ballet looks like. Unfortunately, production dressed him in neon blue tights to face a class of young ballerinas.
Anna wears a ballerina gown down to the laces over her ballroom heels while Sugar Ray wears an elegant cut-a-way with a pink tie to match the flowers on her gown. Their costumes set up nicely for a graceful turn around the floor. Sugar Ray plays an awkward suitor to the beautiful ballerina injecting comedy into the routine.
Carrie Ann: I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much. It was like watching a 6th grade performance and all the little kids. Sugar Ray, you have a sparkle that is unbeatable. Sometimes your shoulders come up and sometimes you jog when you should be gliding, but I absolutely fell in love with that dance and the two of you.
Len: Sugar Ray Leonard turns into the Sugar Plum Fairy. (Another Len Ha Ha tonight.) As the dance progressed, I realized that while technique and performance are important, so is entertainment; and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
Bruno: It had a wonderful kind of cartoonish charm. You played it like Mickey Rooney and The Ballerina, but it was so effective. Technically, it wasn’t perfect, but for entertainment…
Carrie Ann 7 Len 7 Bruno 7 Total: 21
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin: Paso Doble “Les Voici! Voici La Quadrille!” Georges Bizet (aka The March of the Toreadors from the opera, Carmen)
Petra has a hard time making or feeling an angry face so her field trip is to her comfort zone. Working as a model posing for the camera, Dmitry coaches her into the face through Paso poses and encourages her to bring that face to the dance – if he can stop her giggling.
Dmitry: The challenge with working with the orchestra is that it doesn’t have a defined beat. It is all about technique.
With Petra in black and a red swing skirt and Dmitry in his bull fighter’s finest, they hit the floor on a run. This is another very fast piece with a slow bit leading back to fast which is marked in beat by stomps and quick changes down the floor. It ends with the matador ripping off the skirt/cape disguise revealing the dead bull on the floor.
Tom (to Dmitry): That was so fierce you broke your microphone.
Len: I would have liked a little more authority through your feet and your legs. It could have done with being a little crisper, but overall, I’m more impressed than depressed with it. My expectations were low but you did it; even if it was brittle here and there.
Bruno: Petra is Carrrrmen! (bringing out his purr.) The Femme Fatale…(He goes on and on stripping off his jacket, which has Len turning away and Carrie Ann lying back on the desk to put distance between them. Dmitry covers Petra’s eyes to shield her sensitivity.) And that ending, OH, MY GOD!
Carrie Ann: Petra, you are on a roll. (Len interrupts to put in a plea that Carrie Ann sit in the middle of the judging panel.) Your lines were gorgeous, but you do need to work a hair more on your core strength. Powerful, passionate, it was a brand new Petra.
Carrie Ann 8 Len 7 Bruno 8 Total: 23
Peta and Tristan of the Dance Troupe demonstrate the Waltz through billowing white smoke and are guided by Katherine Jenkin’s beautiful voice. How will Ralph and Karina’s Waltz compare?
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff: Waltz “The Theme from Romeo and Juliet” Nino Rota
Ralph: It’s hard to imagine a story bigger and grander in the scheme of love and romance than Romeo and Juliet.
Karina: If they are not going to get excitement from this, they are cold blooded animals.
Ralph works on his “creepy” spatula hands, but feels they are strong, not flapping in the wind.
They take the story backwards where Romeo mourns over a seemingly dead Juliet (with beautiful hand gestures) then she wakes and they rise to their Waltz. At one point they take balletic type turns down the floor and Ralph stumbles a bit for footing, but the overall feel is very dramatic.
Bruno: You were romantic, totally heartfelt, brilliant story telling through dancing and thank you very much for continuing the line. (He rises to demonstrate follow through on arm movement, of course.)
Carrie Ann: What I love about you, when you dance you’re so honest, so I believe you. Normally I would say that was a little melodramatic, but when you do it, I was swept into the story.
Len: Well, you’ve been in the wilderness for two weeks – you’re back.
Carrie Ann 8 Len 8 Bruno 9 Total: 25
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: Paso Doble “Explosive” Bond
Hines’ field trip was across the country to attend award ceremonies so he was nervous about having one day less to rehearse.
Hines: Not having the lyrics is definitely going to be a challenge for me because I tie my marks to the lyrics.
Kym: Hines has so much potential and with the competition so close, I really have to push him.
The dance floor and orchestra area are swathed in red and the jets shoot fire as Hines and Kym start and end their Paso strong, sent through their paces by David Garrett’s violin.
Carrie Ann: You were in the zone, my friend. Touch down on the Paso Doble. Hines, you nailed it.
Len: You are the most determined of all of our celebrities because you come out every week 100%. The longer it goes, the tougher it gets – work hard because you’re really doing great.
Bruno: Oh, yes you do have the killer instinct, and we all saw it; as the song said, truly explosive.
Carrie Ann 9 Len 8 Bruno 8 Total: 25
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: Viennese Waltz “Hedwig’s Theme” John Williams
Chelsea: I really don’t want to be in third place anymore. I want you to push me this week.
Mark: I really want Chelsea to break away from the pack this week; keep it traditional, but with a young edge.
Mark, in a Tyrolean vest and a wizard hat trimmed in feathers, leads a feather skirted Chelsea through a traditional yet modern Viennese Waltz as the owls of Hogwarts would have danced it. A white spot picks up the orchestra then travels to the floor to find Mark and Chelsea. They dance in a dark space with spotlights as their guides.
(Here follows the speech of the night.)
Len: There is no doubt about it, you are a marvelous teacher and a great choreographer. Chelsea, you are a fantastic dancer. So why is it every time I see you, there is something that I don’t like, that jars me? (Bruno jumps out of his chair waving his pen like a wand at Len shouting – Expeliarmus Voldemort!) This is a Viennese Waltz, it’s 300 years old; it is the most traditional of all the ballroom dances. (Mark: She’s 22.) I don’t care that she is 22. Her job is to interpret a dance that is 300 years old. It is your job to help her get through it, not to deflect her. But, after all, I liked it because this girl is a really good dancer.
Bruno: It was magical, fabulous, beautiful and bewitching. Technically speaking, it was the best dance of the night.
Carrie Ann: At times I agree with Len that choreography can be distracting, but tonight I agree with Bruno!
Carrie Ann 9 Len 8 Bruno 9 Total: 26
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke: Paso Doble “In the Hall of the Mountain King” Edvard Grieg
Chris: Last week I performed as Chris Irving, but this week, Chris Jericho is back and ready to go.
Cheryl: Chris was arrogant back in his days in the wrestling ring, and this is exactly the character we need in the Paso Doble.
Chris: I’ve beaten The Rock, John Cena, but tonight, Paso Doble, I’m going to beat you.
Sporting a thin moustache and slicked back hair, Chris has his arrogance on even dressed in a gold cut-a-way coat. They approach each other out of white fog looking like Antony and Cleopatra. When the music grows Chris does a commanding knee, heel walk down the floor then uses facial accents timed to the crescendos before he takes her into his lair and stabs her in the back. Scary.
Bruno: Thor! The God of Thunder! And what you did, actually, you got the accents so well; the accents in the music, excellent.
Carrie Ann: That was a really hard dance, but you were so connected to the music. Your technique is really good. I love your form; I love the way you frame Cheryl. You are one happening guy.
Len: Now listen to this first line…the dance wasn’t bad. Okay, but it starts off quiet, but the music grows and it gets more and more powerful and that’s what you didn’t do. The music conquered you, you didn’t conquer the music.
Carrie Ann 8 Len 7 Bruno 8 Total: 23
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Waltz “The Flower Duet” Leo Dalibes
(Trying to keep a straight face as Maks cracks up) Kirstie: We came, we fell, we conquered. And now we have a chance to redeem ourselves.
At one point in rehearsal, Kirstie pulls a hip muscle, but vows to dance through it.
Maks: The good thing is that you won’t die from it.
A gorgeous duet with Katherine Jenkins and Beverly Johnson from the DWTS singers sets the mood and Kirstie joins them until Maks entices her down to the floor. The ethereal music carries them until a planned circle slide to the floor causes Kirstie’s shoe to come off. Maks vamps until she can slide it back on. A mood breaker and an only can happen to Kirstie/Maks moment?
Carrie Ann: You are the Queen of the unexpected mishap; I mean whose shoe comes off? I felt like you weren’t in the number this time. I felt like you were just sort of waiting for it to be over. After the shoe fell off and you put it back on, you had so much more joy in your dance.
Len: It was okay, but everything needs some improvement. Your posture is okay, but it needs to be stronger. Your footwork is okay, it needs to be cleaner; and your movement is okay, but it needs to flow more.
Bruno: I thought you did amazingly well. You got the ethereal right. I always wanted to bathe in flower petals. You’ve got great musicality and in spite of what happened, you had a fantastic performance.
Carrie Ann 7 Len 7 Bruno 8 Total: 22
During the closing credits, Tom waves his shoe around in empathy with Kirstie. Also interesting this classical night was that the music intros upon returning from commercial breaks were classical variations on the DWTS theme highlighting David Garrett.
Judges Scores for week 4:
Sugar Ray/Anna 21
Classical Theme week continues for the Results Show where the guests will be David Garret with his violin and Jennifer Hudson. Check for filler scores as well as the couple leaving the dance floor in MFWalkoff’s recap.