'Dancing With the Stars': Joanna Krupa inexplicably wins Marathon Mambo, leads

derekhough_joannakrupa_dancingwiththestars_s9_290.jpgWaltzes, Jitterbugs, and a questionably decided dance marathon highlighted this pre-double elimination " Dancing With the Stars."

Thoughts during the Descent of Doom: Lacey Schwimmer looks very Anime/Cosplay for the second week in a row (in a good way); interesting conductor costumes from Donny & Kym - hers looks quasi-farmer for some weird reason; Dmitry Chaplin's hair is looking very Superman tonight and I wholeheartedly approve; Mark Ballas got a haircut which looks good but I kind of miss the fro; Kelly Osbourne's costume is a odd plaid-with-neon-yellow-accents that somehow strangely works.

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris run down the details of tonight. Lifts are legal in the Jitterbug and this is the debut of a competition style group dance where couples will receive points depending on the order they're tapped out in. Should prove interesting. As always, scores are listed in Carrie Ann - Len - Bruno order.

1. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"C'mon Everybody" a la Eddie Cochran

The concept is that they're both working at cleaning and Dmitry pulls and initially reluctant Mya to dance. If you don't think Len will have a problem with the intro and think it went on too long, I have a bridge in San Fransisco to sell you. It was really fun, she had good bounce throughout, and she definitely connected character wise. I enjoyed it.
Judges: Len was predictably turned off by the props saying what she did, she did well but he wanted more. Bruno says her timing was incredible and it was stylistically "spot on." Carrie Ann disagrees slights as she thought Mya was a little soft and understated from what she was expecting.
Score: 24 (8-7-9) - I don't think it deserved a 30 but she was underscored

2. Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas
Dance/Song: Waltz/"Only One Road" a la Celine Dion

To help her this week, Mark brought in his mother Shirley Ballas, a renowned former pro, to whip Melissa into shape. Her technique was solid but there was something a little odd with her posture at times. If she can strengthen her core, I think there'll be dramatic improvement. I didn't notice the footwork much because I was too busy trying to figure out what was wonky in her upper body.
Judges: Bruno said it wasn't good enough for Week 6 and listed several ways. Carrie Ann said that instead of gliding, it was like the floor was "sticky." Len thought it had musicality, she looked elegant, and he liked the changes in hold. He acknowledged some issue with technique but believes Carrie Ann and Bruno were overly harsh. Ironic.
Score: 20 (7-7-6)

3. Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof" a la the Brian Setzer Orchestra

Lacey's strategy is to give Mark all the tricks this week so he can shine. To help him get the proper feel for the dance, she took him to a Jitterbug club where he got some tips from some of the impressive patrons. Whatever she did this week totally worked. It had extremely high energy the whole way through and it looked like they were having a lot of fun, though he did get a smidge off once or twice. All the tricks and flips were fab. It's a good dance for him.
Judges: Carrie Ann wooed and danced in her chair before saying that that's what she's looking for. Len said "more is more" and called it great. Bruno said it was "truly spectacular" before pointing out Mark lost his timing a bit at the end.
Score: 26 (9-9-8)

4. Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff
Dance/Song: Waltz/"Three Times a Lady" a la The Commodores

Not digging the velvet jacket but Aaron danced well. He had a gentlemanly air and very solid technique, though his feet were a odd once or twice. One thing he needs to be aware of is to not tense up during some of the more difficult moves.
Judges: Len said he danced with maturity, had lovely posture and frame, and was his best dance so far. Bruno called him a gentleman and complimented his musicality before pointing out that Aaron lost his footing towards the end. Carrie Ann said that yes, he lost his footing but it was beautiful and he was dignified.
Score: 25 (8-9-8)

5. Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova
Dance/Song: Waltz/"I Wonder Why" a la Curtis Stigers

To thank fans for keeping him on the show, Michael did an open segment on his radio show with Anna and talked to callers. As for the dance, his arms and shoulders have improved greatly as well as his fluidity. The technique was good too. It had a definite charm.
Judges: Bruno said it wasn't "premiere league," adding that his posture wasn't good enough for Week 6. Carris Ann had a Lift Police moment to start her critique and pointed out a stumble. She did however think it was charming and was impressed by his new found fluidity. Len thought Bruno and Carrie Ann were wrong once again saying it had charm, was gentle, and had the best footwork in the Waltz so far.
Score: 20 (6-8-6)

kellyosbourne_louisvanamstel_dancingwiththestars_s9_290.jpg6. Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"Bread and Butter" a la The Newbeats

After getting cleared to continue after her foot/ankle injury last week, Louis took her to a trapeze to help her overcome her dancing fears. She freaked out initially but did it. The dance was solid and she's so freakin' adorable that it made the number that much more entertaining. She definitely could've had more bounce but I'm a bit more forgiving this week in light of the injury (this is the worst possible dance she could've gotten as a follow up). Still, she danced well and did some nifty tricks
Judges: Carrie Ann felt she was having fun but gave the note to stay in her "happy place" during the whole number. Len says she was a bit flat footed (probably to protect her ankle) which made it lack "wildness" and "freedom." Bruno said it was cute and nice but she needs to really let go and sell the performances if she sticks around.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)

Before we get to our last few couples, there's a brief package about how the double elimination will work. The lowest scoring celeb is out with no reprieve while the next two lowest will perform in a "Knock Out" round. All the couples have prepared a 30-second routine of a dance of their choice to a song of their choice with the judges determining who'll stay and who'll go. No pressure.

7. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"Baby Like to Rock It" a la The Tractors

The number had loads of energy and he had a good bounce throughout. I liked the story - he started out as a "nerd" with glasses and suspenders but got a "hot guy" make-over throughout the dance. Chelsie choreographed some big tricks including Louie back-flipping off the judges' table. Wow. One trick didn't work out so well and she ended up on her behind. Oopsie. Sure, he got off a few times but there was an improvement in technique and overall it was enjoyable.
Judges: Len said parts of it were fantastic, some were not. Bruno thought the "wackiness" suited the dance but he lost precision. C to the A loved the athleticism and energy but dropping Chelsie is a no-no.
Score: 21 (all 7's)

8. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Waltz/"Be Here to Love Me" a la Norah Jones

It was pretty and danced well enough but all I could focus on was the inconsistencies of the pictures she was creating. In other words, she has breaks in body control and her arms and legs seem weak at times. I've been noticing it for weeks and it was glaringly obvious here. It was like each break in form represented the segments of choreography she learned. There were some footwork issues as well. On a positive note, I will say her lines were good as was her posture.
Judges: Bruno went all poetic about her being like a butterfly. I tuned out. Carrie Ann said the outside of her lines and carriage were great but saw a lot hesitation. Len said unfortunately her footwork wasn't bgreat but liked how there was no intro stuff and thought it had lovely movement. He said it was the best of the night. Meh.
Score: 26 (8-9-9)

9. Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" a la Indigo Swing

It had great energy and Donny performed his behind off. The technique was very good and Kym threw a lot of cool stuff into the choreography. The floor coverage was excellent - they went from the stage to the corner and back again. It was extremely entertaining, easily one of the best Jitterbugs of the night.
Judges: Carrie Ann was surprised to see a stumble and a moment of being out of sync but they know how to work a room. Len says Donny performed full on and, despite the stumble, it was well done. Bruno agrees he worked the room and had a great performance but he lost some steam which caused the synchronization issues.
Score: 24 (all 8's)

Competition Mambo
Song: "Ran Kan Kan" a la Tito Puente

The whole dance will be timed for four minutes and everyone's got a different strategy (ex: Kym's choreographing the whole thing while Kelly & Louis will be freestyling). All the couples will be on the floor and the judges will hold up a paddle so a couple can get tapped out. The first couple out will get 2 points while the winner will get 10 points. Fighting for room won't be a problem initially because everyone gets a big old spotlight defining their space.

The way it's shot makes it kind of hard to evaluate how everyone is doing. They can't show the whole floor really and any moment the camera's on a couple, it could be at an unflattering time. Michael & Anna are the first to go giving them a total of 22. Next Louie & Chelsie followed by Melissa & Mark which ties them at 24. Not surprised by the order so far.

Kelly & Louis' freestyling takes them pretty far (25) while Mark & Lacey make it to the halfway point (32). Now here's were things get tricky. The remaining four couples are allowed free reign over the floor. Donny & Kym are tapped out next giving them a total of 31, Donny shimming his way over a lying down Derek as a farewell. After Aaron & Karina are eliminated (33), I have a feeling of dread.

No way Joanna wins over Mya. She's just not working it as well and...really?!? They're giving it to Joanna??? It's a travesty, a sham, and a mockery. It's a travashamockery. The robbed runner-ups Mya & Dmitry get 9 points and are tied with Aaron & Karina with a 33 while *sigh* Joanna & Derek get the full 10 points and the overall lead with a total of 36.
Judges: Briefly, Len says they argued the whole way and none of the decision were unanimous. He loved it. Bruno says it was hard to decide but Joanna and Mya were the sauciest. Carrie Ann claims it was very close but she felt Joanna "wanted" the win more. Whatever.

Bottom Three: The sham dance marathon gummed up the works a bit by clumping the scores in a top and bottom half. Michael, Louie, Melissa, and Kelly have the lowest scores with next lowest 6 points higher (Donny). I think Melissa will definitely be in there with a sadly strong possibility of Louie and Kelly also being in the mix. Michael probably should be there but he's got a big voting base. If he's not in this week, he'll be there next week.
Who's Out: Of the three probable candidates, I think Melissa may have the lowest score with the judges ousting Louie over Kelly. The prospect of losing either doesn't sit well with me (though I know Louie's days are numbered).

Anybody share my despair of Joanna winning the Competition dance? Think I'm crazy for objecting? Did you like the addition of the Marathon Mambo or could you do without it? Your favorite number of the night? And do you know who'll be given the double sided axe?

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