It’s an eventful “Dancing With the Stars” as Lacey Schwimmer is out due to illness putting partner Mark Dacascos under pressure, Kelly Osbourne has an emotional week, and the Team dances rear their ugly heads. All this plus a double elimination tomorrow.
Pros Edyta Sliwinska, Chlesie Hightower, Kym Johnson, Tony Dovolani, Alec Mazo, and Jonathon Roberts kick off the proceedings with a group number. Host Tom Bergeron says it’s to show how teamwork should look (on account of the Team Dances tonight), but I’m guessing it’s because there’s some extra time on tonight’s schedule. They dance a Paso Doble and Tango combo to “Shut Up and Let Me Go” a la The Ting Tings and “Call Me” a la Blondie and are fabulous, as expected…though I wonder why there’s big equipment on the edge of the floor which Jonathan & Chelsie nearly trip on.
Then we get to the customary Descent of Doom, on which no one’s tripped on in awhile. One thing immediately apparent is that Lacey Schwimmer has turned into Anna Tribunskya and is accompanying Mark Dacascos down the stairs. Another thing that’s obvious is that all the celebtestants have done a good job designing their pro’s costumes, especially Kelly Osbourne who’s given Louis Van Amstel shimmy pants. Kudos, Kelly! Also, Kym’s outfit is giving me Slave Girl Leia vibes.
1. Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/”Sunday Afternoon” a la Jimmy Buffett
It took awhile but Michael’s finally showing consistant improvement. His step size has gotten much better, his posture is good, and has a solid frame. He was charismatic without being cheesy and over the top. The song had an ease to it and I thought the number matched that well. Nice job overall.
Len admits he’d have been glad to see Michael eliminated the first few weeks but is glad he’s still around, saying this was “brilliant.” Bruno says his musicality has improved and looked like he enjoyed himself but gives the tip to tuck his bum in. Carrie Ann says it was “gracious” and “fluid” and complimented the content and Anna’s very pretty costume.
Score: 23 (8-8-7) – Bruno got booed a bit but it’s Michael’s highest score so far
2. Donny Osmond & Kym
Dance/Song: Quickstep/Big Band classic “Sing Sing Sing”
It’s been said before and it’ll be said for the rest of the season, this man can light up a stage. Tonight he’s giving me Old Hollywood Musical energy. The posture was solid, something that Kym was concerned about during rehearsal. There were a few minor mishaps – slide here, a hand placement there – but nothing major. Very good work.
Bruno says he’s such a good performer that he covered up his mistakes extremely well. Carrie Ann liked the hold and his light footwork, it was good but not his best. Len liked that it was full speed from “start to finish,” saying mistakes happen when you go full out.
Score: 24 (all 8’s)
Before the break, Tom reveals the members of the team dances – the captains of which are the two highest scorers from last week. Joanna Krupa picked Donny and Kelly for Team Tango while Aaron Carter chose Mya, Mark, and Michael for Team Paso. It still ticks me off that Joanna won that Competition Mambo last week, by the way.
3. Mark Dacascos & Anna T.
Dance/Song: Samba/”Switch” a la Will Smith
After an awesome Jitterbug last week, Mark flew back to New York to film a couple “Iron Chef America” eps with Lacey in tow. Unfortunately, she’s extremely sick and is very upset that she can’t dance. That’s Thursday. On Friday, Tony steps in to help and Saturday brings Anna in as his emergency partner. There’s some acrobatics off the stage and a lot of hip action. The technique is solid with a very good Samba Roll, but he’s pulling his face a little too much. Considering he only had two days to learn the number, I think he coped very well. Not his best but certainly not terrible.
Carrie Ann empathizes with his rough week but it was very disjointed for her. Len said a tough week and a difficult dance are a “terrible combination” and agreed with me that he coped well under the circumstances. Bruno called it “‘Kung Fu Panda’ doing the Samba on the ‘Planet of the Apes.'”
Score: 19 (6-7-6)
4. Mya & Dmitry Chaplin
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/Jazz standard “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby”
To help get into the “Old Hollywood Glamor/Big Personality” character of the dance, Dmitry brings in Cloris Leachman to give some tips. While that may sound odd to some of you, remember she’s been acting on Broadway and in the movies since the 40’s and knows quite a bit about getting into character. I think Cloris’ tips definitely helped her let loose. Her facial expressions are great. I liked the choreography a lot – it was flirty and covered the floor well – and it was extremely well executed. No doubt the best number so far.
Judges: Len liked the parts in hold but it was too gimicky for him. He’s killing me. Bruno likened her to Rita Hayworth and Lena Horne saying she “looked a dream and danced like an angel.” Carrie Ann says “Len is officially smoking crack” before complimenting Dmitry’s look and calling the dance dynamic, fluid, graceful, and raving about the floating footwork.
Score: 25 (9-7-9)
5. Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff
Dance/Song: Jive/”We’re Not Gonna Take It” a la Twisted Sister – huh?
To get Aaron’s feet up to speed, Karina takes him to a guy who trains pro football players. It certainly did help. His kicks and flicks her nice and sharp and he never lost the beat, which is impressive for sure. He also kept his energy up throughout. Well done, sir.
Judges: Bruno said he was on “warp drive” and it was his best performance. Carrie Ann thought it was excellent with control and high energy, though noted a weird bit in the middle. Len said it had “enough energy to light up Hollywood” and was tempted to dust off his 10 paddle.
Score: 29 (9-10-10) – I guess Len was more than tempted
6. Kelly Osbourne & Louis
Dance/Song: Salsa/”Good Lovin'” a la The Rascals
Kelly had a really rough rehearsal week but, after being stressed and weepy during the package, when the camera cut to her live, she made fun of herself by making a mock sad-crying face. I want to squeeze her. Again, those shimmy pants she designed for Louis are phenomenal. It’s like the bottom half of a muppet. He ripped them off halfway through the number, and that kinda made me sad. As for the number itself, I thought it was very good. It had a lot of content that she danced very well. There were a few little hiccups but the technique was solid. She looked like she was having fun and performed very well.
Judges: Carrie Ann called her over and stood up to give her a hug and a double high-five for both Louie’s pants and the fact that she was “unafraid of the dance.” Len stood up and commended her on giving a full performance, though says Louie was right to push her because her dancing needs to come up another level now. Bruno, not to be undone, stood up on the judges table to shake his hips while saying she’s “found her mojo.”
Score: 24 (all 8’s)
7. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Rumba/”The Look of Love” a la Diana Krall
They had good freeze poses for the most part but the hip action was lacking. I found her torso to be static and oddly inflexible in general. She had a balance issue on one of the big poses at the end. All in all, it didn’t really do much for me. It was fine technique-wise but eh (though most Rumbas have the same effect on me).
Judges: Len felt it had things that appealed to all the judges. Except for the stumble at the end, Bruno called her a “love goddess.” Carrie Ann says it always seems like she’s on the edge of things going “terribly wrong at any second” but things went right tonight. Eh.
Score: 27 (all 9’s)
Since there’s clearly a lot of extra time on the show tonight, we get an eleborate introduction sequence for Team Tango and Team Paso, complete with smoke and epic music.
Team Paso Doble
Song: “I Hate Myself For Loving You” a la Joan Jet & The Blackhearts
Aaron & Karina’s team, as stated before, Michael & Anna D., consists of Mark & Anna T. (Lacey made some rehearsals before going down with her sickness), and Mya & Dmitry. Though it started out a bit rough, Michael pulled the team together. He’s very good at that. Aaron & Karina have the first solo and is overall good. There’s some weirdness but lots of good stuff. Michael & Anna D. are next – he’s got great intensity but his steps were too small. Mark & Anna T. do very well though there’s a slight miff at the end. But it’s Mya & Dmitry who really rock their solo. All the unison stuff is well choreographed and executed solidly.
Judges: Bruno thought it was strong, powerful and dynamic but had occasional synchronization issues, calling Mya & Dmitry the standouts. Carrie Ann loved the intensity and that they were focused as a group but the choreography was a bit basic for this stage. She also thought Mark redeemed himself. Len congratulated Michael on his leadership skills and thought the routine got better as it went along.
Score: 24 (all 8’s)
Song: “You Give Love A Bad Name” a la Bon Jovi
Captain Joanna & Derek have Kelly & Louis and Donny & Kym on their team. The pros choreographed the whole number before teaching it to their celebs. Donny was feeling like he was coming down with something during rehearsals but he seems to have battled through okay. Kelly & Louis have the first solo and are great. Donny & Kym follow with a great footwork sequence among other awesome stuff. Joanna & Derek end it and are good but don’t float my boat. The unison choreography is also really good with this group. I feel like they have an advantage since Donny is probably the best lead of the remaining male celebs paired with two pros. There was little chance of them getting out of sync because of it.
Judges: Carrie Ann was stoked enough to get out of her chair and give everyone high fives…then spank all the guys because they put in a lift. Len said it was easier for them since they were in hold but thought this number was “much more superior.” Bruno thought the solos were excellent and they were superb as a team.
Score: 28 (9-9-10)
Bottom Three: Definitely Michael and Mark, the latter of which makes me especially sad. For the last spot, it’ll almost definitely be someone off of Team Paso, most likely Mya thanks to Len’s underscoring.
Who’s Out: Barring some kind of miracle (like Joanna being in the bottom and choking in the Dance Off), it’ll be Michael and Mark. Sad face for Mark.
Your thoughts on tonight? Did Team Tango have a built-in advantage over Team Paso? Was anyone under or over-scored? Do you share my dismay with Mark’s probably trip to the executioner tomorrow?