4/12 DWTS12 Results Recap: Harry Potter and the Talented Mr. Ripley
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Let’s get Freudian this week, because Mark’s Harry Potter dance has become the elephant in the room, and as you’ll see, it becomes the elephant sitting on the Results Show as well.
But first (as Julie Chen would say), the results show opens (without any introduction) with the hunky violin virtuoso David Garrett, who dazzled us during the previous performance show. This time, still backed by the wonderfully expanded Harold Wheeler Orchestra, David launches into a blistering version of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” accompanied by the new Dancing with the Stars Troupe in all their hip-swiveling glory. Starting a meal with filler isn’t usually a wise decision, but in this case, it’s the perfect starter. Filler nutritional value: 10 (out of 10)
Tom and Brooke find their way to a camera and greet us, and launch into some results. They will be dealing with the leaderboard from top to bottom this week, which usually means there’s a surprise coming. Leaders Chelsea & Mark are lined up alongside high scorers Hines & Kym and Ralph & Karina in the Star Tank.
The highlights begin with Chelsea leaning in close to the camera, almost so Mark can’t hear her in the background, warning us that they (meaning Mark and nobody else) are taking another risk this week with even more non-traditional choreography (not to mention some tacky-ass costumes). Jumping up and down in the background, an annoyed Mark keeps interrupting her: “We’re not taking a risk. We’re not taking a risk! We’re not! Taking! A risk!” But sure enough, it’s a big risk, as Mark peppers their Harry Potter Waltz with flailing mime movements, pretending that Chelsea is levitating him by waving her arms. Perhaps it would seem like less of a risk if Mark had given her more to do than the arm-waving in the non-couple portions of the dance. To their credit, when they remember to actually waltz, it is flawless, but when they aren’t locked together, it’s the Amazing Mark Show with this season’s assistant smiling and gesturing like a Price Is Right model.
”I coulda been a Gryffindor! I coulda been somebody!”
Many of you know by now that Derek and Julianne Hough grew up in London with Mark and his family. We also know that while living in London, Derek and Julianne landed roles as Gryffindor students in the first Harry Potter movie. With both of his best friends off pursuing movie careers at the moment, one wonders if Mark isn’t working out some feelings of abandonment and resentment in this manic waltz. He’s making his own Harry Potter movie, so there! Neener neener! Len interrupts Mark’s psychodrama with his usual “WTF was that” smackdown, only this time Carrie Ann and Bruno jump ship, and adoringly ask for a ride on Mark’s broom. For the first time, this Derek-wannabee’s misdeeds are rewarded with the highest scores of the night.
So, um, did anyone else dance this week?
Huh? Oh, yeah, they did! In more highlights, Kym pumps up Hines backstage before they command the floor with an impressive paso doble. They can’t stop beaming and whooping in the confessional afterwards. Ralph & Karina bring an elegant, romantic waltz to the table, and are scored equally as high. But now, Tom tells us that one of these couples is in jeopardy! The unlucky couple turns out to be Chelsea & Mark, which means that either the audience or the producers are putting Mark on notice: Derek gets away with this behavior because hello, he’s Derek, and he doesn’t forget to showcase his partner when he goes off the reservation. Snap out of it and stop selling out Chelsea, ya little brat! (Okay that’s my interpretation, but I know I’m not alone.)
Ironically, Chelsea & Mark also get tonight’s encore dance. Even crusty Len joins in a standing ovation afterwards, acknowledging the intricate choreography that may be better suited to another dance show.
Enough with the elephant! Tom and Brooke inform us that next week, in honor of Patriot’s Day (we have a Patriot’s Day? Isn’t this already covered by the Fourth of July?), the dances will be scored by songs that celebrate America. To get us in the mood, Len has put together his own take on George C. Scott’s Patton, as he barks at his celebrity troops (not troupes) to straighten up and give their all next week. Chelsea and Kirstie get a couple of choice reaction shots, and Romeo gets to work on his attack growl. Funny stuff! Filler nutritional value: 9
Len has a riding crop. Threat Level: Kinky!
After a break, a slimmed-down Jennifer Hudson comes out in a big bubble dress (eek) to sing her brand new R&B single. And she certainly sings the heck out of it, in fact I wonder if she will still respect it in the morning. Louis & Karina create some steamy moves to help stoke the fire. Filler nutritional value: 8
The Running of the Bulls
Back in the Star Tank, Brooke interviews the three middle-scoring couples. Asked how he will improve on his scores next week, Romeo vows to “do some research because he’s a college student” and to take inspiration from his hero Will Smith, who also does research because he’s an actor, I guess. The BrookeBot 2000 leaves all that hanging in the air, and pivots to Petra and Dmitry. She reminds them that next week is “American Week,” and basically asks to see their papers. Petra smiles and uses this time to express love for her fans. Chris says something about the state of the economy as Cheryl remembers why she should never let go of his leash.
Heading back to Resultsville, Chris & Cheryl’s paso landed well, as did Romeo & Chelsie’s paso, thanks to his display of abs for Bruno. Petra & Dmitry’s paso was just as successful, as all three couples were tied at 23 points. But someone has to go on the block, and this time America (or the producer) chooses that cunning foreign spy Petra. Tom can’t help but bring out his trademark line, “It’s gonna be one of those nights!”
Blood on the Dance Floor?
Back to the Star Tank once more, this time with the bottom of the leaderboard: Brooke, probably still seething from being shown up by Kirstie & Maks last week, confronts Kirstie on the pattern of mishaps that has cursed their routines. Kirstie & Maks look at her and give her an answer that amounts to “Pfft!” (God I love those two!) Meanwhile, Sugar Ray plugs TiVo while standing up for his performance, which netted him and Anna their highest scores yet. And then there’s Kendra! Brooke asks her what the deal was last night, since she seemed a little off. Kendra proudly announces that she was the victim of an ill-timed…time of the month. I give Brooke credit for not allowing the show to stop dead in its tracks. She laughs and briskly hands the show back to Tom, who smiles that smile that lets you know how much he loves his job.
How to Keep Things Fresh
Next up is a video piece in which the pros explain how they manage to come up with new and different routines each and every week. Cheryl finds inspiration all over, whether by traveling to Argentina to learn more about the Tango, or just watching an old musical. Dmitry looks outside of ballroom to other forms of dance, hoping to find new moves he can incorporate. Maks teaches class during the off-season, and finds inspiration from his students. Louis likes to push his celebrities really hard, while Mark just likes to dance outside the box and hope somehow that the judges don’t punish his partner for it. Hmph. Filler nutritional value: 7
Carnation Instant Swan
Next up is the first Macy’s Stars of Dance segment of the season. Ballet stars from several national companies come together to capitalize on Natalie Portman’s award-winning turn in Black Swan, and perform a tweaked-out homage to Swan Lake. It’s beautiful to watch, in spite of all the dry ice fog and poor choices of camera shots that muddle the proceedings, and it ends all too quickly. Filler nutritional value: 7
Jennifer Hudson returns to sing her Weight Watchers-sponsored remake of the Nina Simone classic “Feelin’ Good.” The expanded orchestra gets one more chance to shine, and Jennifer sells it, even though she decides to stay in that awful purple bubble dress. Hey, there’s Damian on the dance floor! Miss ya, buddy! Filler nutritional value: 9
This week's recap is brought to you by The Color Purple.
Can we get on with the results already? Before the axe is lowered, we see the highlights from the lowest-scoring couples. Kirstie shakes her fists at the sky in bewilderment after being the first dancer in the show’s history to lose a shoe in the middle of a routine. Sugar Ray feels fine about his waltz, but less fine with Len calling him the “Sugar Plum Fairy.” After a bad dance and a poor choice of remarks to the judges, Kendra has a breakdown when even Louis begins to wonder out loud what the problem is.
Back on the floor, Kirstie & Maks are pronounced safe (duh), and then in an interesting twist, Kendra & Louie are called safe as well. This means that Sugar Ray has to enter the Final Jeopardy round. This is a particularly ominous turn for him, since the other two couples danced very well and have established fanbases.
In the Clearing Stands a Boxer and a Brat
After the final break, Tom reminds us that from this point on, every elimination is really going to sting. With that, he spares Petra’s life, leaving Chelsea & Mark and Sugar Ray & Anna as the Bottom Two. Will it be the Boxer or the Brat’s Assistant? Finally, the hour-long spanking ends for Mark, as Sugar Ray is pronounced the loser by technical decision. Tom and Len praise Ray and call him “the heart of the show” this season, and it’s truly a shame that he didn’t get more time to grow as a dancer. He leaves with grace and dignity, proclaiming how much he loves the show and what it stands for. And over in the corner, Mark can’t stop scowling, since, y’know, this is all really about him, isn’t it?
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