Oh, magical “Dancing With the Stars” mirrorball, you continue to amaze us with your many uses.
This week you slid open to reveal song choices for the show’s first ever “Instant Dance” — like a sparkly version of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
And who knew the selections you yielded would cause such a stir? Jennifer Grey got the first perfectly scored dance of Season 11 (despite those achy knees), Maksim Chmerkovskiy went primeval on Carrie Ann Inaba and our man Tom Bergeron got to make several jokes about Foreigner.
All in all, it was a heck of a night — and, might we add, the first this season that really blew our collective mind. So lets break it down, couple by couple, and then see what folks (including Maks) were saying backstage
Scores and Steps
- Kyle Massey (56) makes it incredibly difficult not to vote for him. If we weren’t afraid of getting Keith Olbermann‘d, we’d be dialing right now. After his positively charming Viennese Waltz — did Len actually call him a “a gorgeous orchid?” — Kyle earned a previously unthinkable double 10 (and a 9) for his instant jive. He’s turning it up at the exactly the right time.
- Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of so many band-aids, Jennifer Grey (57) is once again the undisputed “DWTS” golden child. Her quickstep? The quickest. And her instant rumba? The season’s highest-rated routine yet. And now that she’s renewed her commitment to the series and the finale is well within her reach, maybe its time her rehearsal clips stop dwelling on her aches and pains.
- It’s no surprise that Kurt Warner (48) seems a bit dejected right now. Despite overwhelming praise from the judges… they were pretty tepid when it came to the scoring. No, 8s are nothing to turn one’s nose up at, but at this point in the competition, a 9 would do wonders for the spirit.
- Mama Palin’s got a new show to promote, so it’s little surprise that she showed up in this week’s rehearsal package. What a week to pick! Bristol Palin (47) came out with guns blazin’ for her Argentine Tango — and by guns we clearly mean legs, because she’s never looked better. That did not translate to the scores though. Going into the results show, she’s just behind Kurt for last place.
- Brandy (57) is still an awesome dancer, so let’s cut the analysis and get right to the point. It’s a good thing her instant dance was the last, because after Maks and Carrie Ann engaged in some heated verbal sparring, it was impossible to wade through all the tension in the ballroom. We need a hug.
- Awe, a familiar face! Margaret Cho — looking smoking, by the by — stopped by the taping and offered her opinion on Bristol’s unlikely endurance. “Republicans vote,” she says, laughing. “They’re organized… I actually really loved her tango tonight. It’s the best dance she’s done. She was beautiful, and I thought ‘that’s cool.’ People are voting for her because they identify with her.”
- Kyle offers some insight on how the instant dance was doubly confusing for the contestants. “I think the hardest part about the instant dance was the fact that we had a dress rehearsal,” says Massey, “and in the dress rehearsal, they gave us a song that we had to choreograph our original dance to… just for dress rehearsal.” That music had to be erased from their minds the when they re-choreographed, just a few hours later.
- “If you’re going to criticize the choice of choreography, it has nothing to do with Brandy,” Maks says, elaborating on why he got disgruntled with Carrie Ann for calling them out on their instant dance’s slow start. “To penalize her for starting late, it’s just so stupid. Why take the spotlight away from her? I don’t appreciate it.” Brandy, laughing off her partner’s protective display, was just happy she finished atop the leader board — for the fourth week in a row.
So what did you think of Maks’ little spat with Carrie Ann — does he have a point or does talking back do more harm than good?
Photo credit: ABC