It was Movie Night on “Dancing With The Stars,” and some of the celebtestants were nearly picture-perfect. Others had some trouble at the box office.
1. Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel
Dance/Song: Jive/”La Bamba” a la Richie Valens (from “La Bamba”)
She could use a little more bounce in the steps, but Niecy was shaking that fringe, honey. The technique was sound in theory, though occasionally wasn’t fully executed. I’m not sure what she was doing on those little side kicks, but it wasn’t exactly what she should’ve been doing. But it was sassy and bright, and she ended the number by kissing Len’s forehead, leaving a nice, red lip-print there.
Len thought she got her personality into the dance but, though there was “plenty of bounce in [her] bazookas,” there wasn’t enough bounce in her feet. Bruno agrees that was a lot going on “in the upperdecks” but said it wasn’t precise enough and pointed out that she made a mistake, which Louis said was his fault. Carrie Ann called her the “Shimmy Queen” and loved to see her having fun, though she agrees Niecy had some technique issues.
Score: 18 (6-6-6)
2. Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”Bare Necessities” from “Disney’s The Jungle Book”
Given the jungle-y theme of the song, there are some fake vines hanging about the band, and the couple is rocking some tiger print (He is a member of the Bengals, after all.) Gotta love a sleeveless, tiger-print trimmed suit. Chad’s posture is much better. The footwork was pretty good, though it looked a bit off once or twice. It wasn’t fantastic but there was definitely improvement.
Bruno thought it was a little too wild, which made Chad lose some control; the judge called his hold and frame “terrible.” Carrie Ann said it was uneven, switching between good and bad moments, but it looked like he was having fun. Len thought it was bright and lively and that Chad’s posture improved, but he had a hard time keeping his upper body calm, which Len acknowledged as being difficult.
Score: 18 (6-6-6)
3. Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance/Song: Jive/”Miserlou” a la Dick Dale (from “Pulp Fiction”)
They’re the first couple to have outfits that looked like the movie. They started the song off slow, with Maks staring at a menu and initially disintereted in the dance. When Erin threw it away, the music thankfully picked up the pace. Her footwork was very good for the most part, and they really embodied their characters. Erin was definitely “on” tonight, but I can’t shake the feeling that something was a bit off. I just can’t quite figure out what. Maybe the judges know.
Carrie Ann liked it and appreciated the story but noted that Erin was a bit ahead of the beat. Len thought she did a really good job overall with a difficult routine, noting it got a bit hectic at times. Bruno says it’s her best timing ever and that she didn’t go wrong once.
Score: 22 (7-7-8)
4. Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower
Dance/Song: Cha Cha/”Old Time Rock and Roll” a la Bob Seger (from “Risky Business”)
Their movie is “Risky Business,” but he came into rehearsal one day with a volleyball, Aviator glasses, and no shirt. It took five weeks to get a gratuitous shirtless shot of Jake. And during the actual number, we have Pantsless Jake. Well, for the very beginning anyway. Chelsie had him in pants in twenty seconds. This … had quite a few bumpy moments. He had a lot of rhythm issues and a few choreography bobbles, but at least he owned his pantsless-ness.
Judges: Len appreciates that Jake always gives it 100 percent and he loved the vibe of the dance but noted that did mess up. Bruno agrees it was one of his best performances except for the mistake. Carrie Ann loved the dance, “the whole package” as it were. It must’ve looked different in real life because I don’t feel like he ever got on beat.
Score: 23 (8-7-8) – No way was he better than Erin.
5. Pamela Anderon and Damian Whitewood
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”9 to 5″ a la Dolly Parton (from “9 to 5”)
Pamela is channeling her film’s Dolly very well. Really good footwork — only one little mistake that I saw. Her posture was good, she kept her frame well, and they covered the floor nicely. Bonus points for dancing on and over the chairs and table on the stage. It was a very Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers moment. Overall a very, very good job. If Jake got a 23, she should easily get more.
Judges: Bruno says her characterization is always spot-on and the dancing was good. Carrie Ann agrees, saying that she’d love to see Pam on Broadway, which she’d never have thought before the show. Her only problem was Pamela’s hold was a little “loosey goosey.” Len predictably hated the props and thought there wasn’t enough dancing.
Score: 21 (7-6-8) – It’s a travesty, a sham and a mockery.
6. Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/”Don’t You Forget About Me” a la Simple Minds (from “The Breakfast Club”)
Being that the movie is “The Breakfast Club,” it explains her somewhat horrible outfit. It’s like a Barbie from 1982. I will congrulate her on actually dancing at times. And holy crap, when she smiles it actually looks like she’s having fun and not being forced. There was some improvement, but not a whole lot.
Judges: Carrie Ann says there are bits of grace developing but likens the number to the muddled teacher’s voice on “Charlie Brown.” Len said it was neat, precise, and had an elegance, but it was more of a stroll than a dance. Bruno thought she looked distant and is a little upset that Kate regressed.
Score: 15 (5-5-5)
7. Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Tango/”Pretty Woman” a la Roy Orbison (from “Pretty Woman”)
Great job on her dress by the wardrobe department. Nicole really rocked this dance. The standing ovation was totally deserved.
Judges: Len said it was her best dance and the best dance of the season so far. Bruno was very animatedly pleased. Carrie Ann called the lines incredible and that a snapshot of every moment would’ve been art.
Score: 29 (10-9-10)
8. Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya
Dance/Song: Rumba/”I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” a la Aerosmith (from “Armageddon”)
This rehearsal week begins with their travelling practices as Evan is part of the “Stars On Ice” tour. Evan’s most concerned about his hip action since, as a skater, he needs to keep his hips stable. Evan’s lines are ridiculous. For being concerned about his hips, they were actually very good. The chemistry was nice and I liked the choreography. They also deserved their standing ovation.
Judges: Bruno loved Evan’s lyricism and called his top lines “exquisite,” but gave a tip to make sure he doesn’t stop his movements short. Carrie Ann thought the number had “tender sophistication” and loved how the movements help generate emotion. Len said it had artistry, musicality, and fluidity and completed the set of complimenting his hip action.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
Bottom Three: As some may just be in the Red Light of Doom just because the producers feel like it, I’m going with some combination of Kate, Jake, Chad, and/or Niecy.
Who’s Out: Although I applaud her for finally fully embracing the process, it wouldn’t be fair for Kate to stick around, purely based on rate of improvement.
So what did you think of Movie Night? Did you like the theme? Who’s number did you like the best? Think you’ll know who’ll be uncomfortably standing under a red spotlight tomorrow?
Photo credit: ABC