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Hello again, fellow DANCE WARS friends. In addition to our dance (read: comedy) hour, we’ll have Taylor Swift on to sing as a special guest, while Kelsey laughs at how much hotter and boring she is than the pop-country newcomer. Oh, and top of that, ABC has decided to use the show not only as a way to show off the unknown talents of the best (available) unknown singers and dancers, but to show off who their latest low iq douchebag gentleman star of The Bachelor will be. Either that, or it’s time to provide sacrifice to Carrie Ann, and this poor sap will be fucked and subsequently eaten. Oh yeah, and there’s a frikin’ Dance War underway! As Carrie Ann’s about to say before her next dinner, “Let’s dig in”.
Woah, this guy’s waaaay too salty.
We start the show with Lachey waxing poetic. He says that “in every defeat there is sadness” (as the camera shows Bruno’s gang upset about losing Charity) and that “in every victory there is celebration” (as the camera cues to a mechanical bull?). These reality show writers really know how to slather on the poingancy. We know, however, that the bull fits this week’s theme of country music, in which case, everyone should prepare themselves for feeling both patriotic and drunk.
“well ain’t that ‘Merica?”
Our teams start off singing “Loud” from Big and Rich, who, if they haven’t annoyed you by now/you haven’t heard of them, be thankful. They’re like a country version of Hall and Oates only exponentially less cool. They use a prop for this number (a pool table) and the outfits are whatever Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson didn’t use when they were making Maverick, back in the day. Our standouts for this round are as follows:
Kelsey: Kelsey and I’s relationship is the most volatile thing I’ve ever experienced. At some points throughout this trainwreck of a reality show, she’s been a beacon of hope, strutting her stuff all over the stage. At other points, she’s been boring me to death – tonight, the strut is back…or maybe it’s the whorish costume of a well, whore that she’s wearing.
“This outfit just wears so naturally. I can kick, stretch, and kick.”
Mariel: Does a pretty good job with her vocals, putting out her little powerhouse voice to make the crap ass song better. And while she hasn’t shown us anything new, it’s not a bad thing necessarily to have a powerhouse voice make a crap ass song better, right?
“Well, you didn’t listen to Whitney Houston’s last album did you?”
Everyone else is pretty bland, but the guys try to work their Carrot Top by using props at the end of the song – pool cues from the pointless pool table. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for them, their prop comedy is much funnier than that ginger, steroided freak, although I guess that’s kind of not the point.
Lachey then directs us to a clip reel where we see what happened last week with the votes. Alyssa recalled being “so nervous, I could feel my sister watching me.” Then camera cuts to her sister with her eyes closed. There must be a sane person in the edit room this week, or at least one with a sense of humor. Meanwhile, after the announcement of the winning team was made, Team Carrie Ann acted more excited than a college kid at a Barack Obama rally, and all of a sudden feel like they’re the shit for a week.
“We just won Iowa, bitches!”
Team Carrie Ann heads back to the studio where they encounter…yes, the aforementioned mechanical bull. For some reason Carrie Ann thinks this is going to be better for their dance moves, but it raises some serious health concerns. What if one of her dancers gets injured? What if the bull does little or nothing to improve their skills? What if Bradley pops his cherry on this thing?
“No worries, the V-card has been swiped.”
Chris is a bit nervous as he isn’t familiar with country and is only into hip hop. To which, dear readers, we must all say, “why must wiggs be so close minded?” Elizabeth had a little slip up at the end of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” last week and got upset – perhaps the producers are setting these two up to go home this week? Carrie-Ann then finishes our competitors-behind-the-scenes portion of the show with some fake gunshooting and some bullshit smiling.
“I’m a cheeseball fraud!”
Time for Team Carrie Ann’s first go round and it’ll be a song that reminds me of a place near and dear to my heart. You see, I’m from Atlanta, GA and right outside of the city there’s a 1,683 foot tall granite rock called Stone Mountain. On the face of this behemoth, two Confederate Generals, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis are carved in. During the summers, there’s a laser light show on the carving, and people buy buckets of KFC, pull out their best set of bridge cards, and bask in the rednecklectric bliss of laser cartoon versions of the generals riding the horses to “Glory, Glory, Halleljuiah” (All true). The lasers featured one specific cartoon to the tune of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” that was my first clear memory of hearing that song. Team Carrie Ann’s version is somehow more terrifyingly cheesy.
“Devil Went Down to Georgia” is, unfortunately for them, a bad choice of song. Their version sounds like a 4 year old with a playskool video recorder decided to conduct a symphony. Chris’ mike dropped, so that’s the second time he’s had bad luck, and Bradley keeps doing these odd, cringe-worthy, unexpected, weird screeches. During Carrie Ann’s critique, she’s trying to hold back how disappointed she is, so she points out that Qis really stood out from the beginning, which is true but really in this instance just makes him the kid with asperger’s on the short bus. She disses Mariel by saying she’s being “small”, while Bruno lashes out on Chris for having excuses all the time. Chris tries to man-up and say it is his fault, which Bruno responds with, “Well, you’re a gentleman for that, nevertheless, the choreography cannot be chaste.” Only Bruno can be concillatory and bitchy in one breath.
“I’m Mr. Congenial Asshole, USA?! Ohmigod, Thank you!”
We go back to saying goodbye to Charity, with some montage music that sounds like it’s from a love scene during a skinemax movie. Kelsey was pretty upset, but Charity feels that “when God shuts a door he opens a window, I just don’t know what that window is yet.” Odds are it’s a drive thru one where you have to wear a purple polo that says “Taco Bell.” Thanks for playing though, Charity. We’ll miss you!
“Would you like some cinammon stix with that for only .99 more?”
Bruno feels terrible and says that he can’t blame any of his kids. He wants to reasses the situation so he brings together a conference in the red room. He asks for a group hug and sits pow-wow style with his team. Phil tells Bruno that he feels after last week they could perform their best and it might not matter. Well for starters, Phil, since America’s voting for you you could stop acting like a little bitch. We then go to training and Bruno and the choreographer come out with giant styrafoam hats for everyone, because being on this show isn’t embarrassing enough for these people.
“For my next act, America, I’m going to soil myself!”
Zach thinks the team is in good shape because 3 out of the 5 members are from the south, so they know country. I don’t know if that’s much of an advantage – I’ve seen New Jersey rednecks and let me tell you, they’re crazier rednecks than southern rednecks by far. Speaking of rednecks, Philip is pumped that he doesn’t have to learn choreography since he’s just gonna play his guitar. He’ll be playing “Life is a Highway”, which Bruno thinks they’re going to “deliver…are you, are you going to deliver?”
Believe it or not they do deliver despite a pretty heinous intro from Philip. They have great energy though and picked the right song, as opposed to Team Carrie Ann’s utter failure. Lacey piped in with some nice backup vocals, and Zack sounded pretty good. Tony is getting better, but he’s simply not a singer, so they still need to do a lot of work with him. Nonetheless, they came through and Bruno agrees. Bruno also thinks Philip is better now than ever (disagree), thinks Zack needs more edge (agree), and thinks Tony needs to “communicate through singing” (not high enough to understand). Kelsey dedicates the performance to Charity to which Carrie Ann says, “I’m feeling emotional”. The only dig Carrie Ann has is on Phil’s hoarse voice, otherwise she felt that the performance was well-done.
“I know, I’m surprised, too!”
We come back from commercial to meet Matt Grant, the new The Bachelor, who’s some guy that would be 8 million times less charming if he didn’t have a goddamn British accent. It would be really satisfying if there’s some scandal and he’s revealed to be a faker, but I don’t think ABC has the stones to pull a stunt like that, so we’ll have to hope this Matt Grant guy is behind the whole con.
“Pip pip, cheerio.”
Our next publicity stunt is Taylor Swift, who has her Rock and Roll country band try to keep her from being boring. Sorry if there are any fans out there. But she’s Vanilla. Boring. Yawn. Lachey asks Swift a couple of questions about the teams and she says pretty bland thigns about both of them. Lachey notes her attention to detail and adds that if he were her, he’d be eating nuts in the back instead of watching the show. Hilarious, Drew. Taylor then gives advice to the group saying they should find something that makes them different, which is funny if you think about it, because I can’t tell the difference between her, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, and other you’re-prettier-when-you-don’t-write-your-own-lyrics type of females. The other thing worth noting is that Taylor Swift looks like she could kick Drew Lachey’s ass. I’d like to see that fight.
“Clash of the Tamest”
Drew teases our next clipreel of Team Carrie Ann training with talk of a “budding romance.” Did anyone hope for pregnancy right away like I did? Sould I feel guilty about that? I don’t. But my interest is piqued – so, who is our budding romantic couple??? It’s Qis and Mariel, which, when the two of them are together, looks like a statutory prom night!
Carrie Ann, acting like a Catholic School nun, is getting concerned cause she doesn’t want them to make other people in the group feel left out. She says that groups have broken up for this kind of reason. When asked during a 1 on 1 if Mariel likes Qis, she starts babbling abou how there’s no girl that wouldn’t and then can’t even form sentences. Clearly, Qis has got this in the bag…and the odds for Mariel to become the next Juno have increased.
Carrie Ann also mentions that Bruno’s team suits country well, but her team is pumped about last week’s win. Bradley, acting way too big for his britches, says, “I love to Win and Winning’s What I do.” well it must be that as opposed to singing and dancing, cause you don’t seem to do either of those above average.
Team Carrie Ann comes out to “Big Black Horse By the Cherry Tree”, and the second act is far superior to the first one. The girls are featured here and all three do well with the music. Alyssa uncannily seems to be losing weight by the second, and is in dire need of a sandwich. And, last but not least, Qis wears an open shirt to show his skeletal frame. I guess if it works for Mariel, why not America?
“No thanks America, I’m into little Asian girls.”
Carrie-Ann feels that they did well, and vocally, “the ladies blended like a dream.” But as we all know with Carrie Ann, any compliment must, in addition, have some criticism otherwise, she won’t feel powerful at all. And once you’re a Japanese pop star, it’s hard to go back to anything less. Ultimately, her critique is that Elizabeth was early on the choreography, but Elizabeth, being equal parts sweet and stupid, just smiles. Bruno agrees with Carrie Ann’s criticism, and says the show is called Dance War, and there is no dancing – instead it’s a fashion show. Bruno then starts babbling incoherently saying, “Tyra Banks…no no Carrie Ann…this is really taking the easy route.” Although, Tyra will be the only one to tell you, Bruno, that being her isn’t easy.
“It’s hard to be a lowbrow Oprah!”
Time for Team Bruno’s second clipreel! Bruno starts off by telling us that although these kids are great singers and dancers, this time they’re going to have fun on stage, “and hopefully America has fun, too.” The only way I see this happening is if Kelsey busts out with a Burlesque number, but that probably doesn’t go with the whole country theme. Lacey says America has never seen a black cowgirl, so she’s bringing it this week. I feel like I remember seeing one somewhere, though. Hmmmmm. That’s right it’s in my favorite painting of all time.
This painting is called Sistas in Arms and I don’t know why it hasn’t inspired a script or book somewhere – someone needs to tell the Sistas in Arms’ story ASAP.
Phil says he’s gonna teach Tony and Zack about country – Tony says he’s more familiar with hip hop, but is open to learn some new things. Kelsey asks him, in a very condescending voice, if he knows what “yee Ha” means. Tony think it means “I’m having a great time” and uses it in the sentence, “This Bruno group is awesome…YEE HA.” Clearly he’s read the honkie dictionary. Then Tony says the most poignant thing he’s said all season – “I’ve got to dig deep and pull that cowboy out of me”. I’m 13.
Bruno can’t say Yee Ha, and keeps saying Yee HO! That must be what they said in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly before it was dubbed. Nonetheless, Bruno is amazed by his team and is ready to put them to work. They have to run 100 laps while singing because, according to their vocal coach, they’re “fading down the stretch.” Well, except for Tony, who kind of sucks at the whole singing thing in the first place. Zach says it’s the hardest exercise he’s ever done in his life, which I find hard to believe considering he’s not obese, but what do I know? I’m typing this while sucking down an Atlanta made Coca-Cola and puffing on a N. Carolina made cigarette. I realize now that I was made for the country episode, despite any criticisms from before.
Kelsey is going to open the number this week, so she says she needs to step it up and show Bruno and America that she can sing. Which is sweet to me, because she has enough of a voice where she could have a career. I mean if it can happen to Ms. Gimmie Less, Britney Spears, then why the efff not? The choreographer seems to think so as well, telling her she needs to sing so that every heterosexual guy watching in America will have to vote for her right away. For this, however, I refer to my previous burlesque suggestion. Just hang in there Kelsey for vaudeville night, and you’ll be able to shine!
“I can do comedy, too!”
Even Bruno notices, saying “look at Kelsey – sexy.” She rehearses her number and gets all playful with Philip, trickling her fingers down his nose. Philip then says some bs line about how they’ll have “guns blazing,” and we leave our clip reel with our contestants fake shooting us. This show is so brilliant it hurts…a lot.
Team Bruno: The scariest gang since every other gang ever.
Team Bruno’s song is “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and Kelsey immediately instills serious patriotism. She is channeling the aforementioned Ms. Spears circa 1998, with those boots and that homegrown goodness. unfortunately, Tony, Zack and Philip are there to ruin it for me. In all seriousness though, it’s a lot more fun of a number than they’ve done before and it isn’t so much country, especially in the part where “Walk it Out” of the many famous internet incarnations comes on abruptly. It’s jarring, but goofy enough where I’m charmed.
“Jarring and goofy, yet somehow charming? Why that’s me!”
Bruno says it’s the hardest choreograph he’s ever done. He says Kelsey is the surprise of the night as she’s “sexy, sassy”. Carrie Ann, stirring what little controversy can be stirred from a show like this, says that there’s a term choreographers use when they steal someone else’s set called “biting” and she feels that Team Bruno was biting from her team last week. I believe the only thing that was biting was the feeling you got when you realized how quickly you ran out of Yen, but that’s your own fault Carrie Ann. She also says the “Walk It Out” part was unnecessary, which we have to reluctantly agree with. she also says that Kelsey was amazing, which we can agree with without hesitation.
“I’m a millionaire in Japan” (note: 1 million yen equal to $9,323.21)
We come to the final vote and, in a clipreel, Kelsey describes the one day the teams get together during the week to work on the opening dance number. She calls it “interesting” and says that while they’re all friends, on the dance floor they mean business. Then she does a sistah snap, which I loved. You’re no longer boring me, although you may be pissing off someone at ABC. Have you seen the photos they put up to click through on abc.com and watch the episodes. Someone over there hates Kelsey as much as I love her.
“Why so sad, lover?”
Zach calls the group rehearsal a “psyche out session” and says Alyssa says things to psyche out people. I think we’ve discovered the fuel for her weight loss – a burning desire to win at all costs, including intimidation. Apparently Qis frustates Zack as well since he apparently talks a lot of trash. Zack needs to grow some thicker skin though. I’ve taken it relatively easy on him during these recaps and I think he might cry if he ever reads them. Bradley will definitely cry when he reads this, and fittingly, he complains that Tony picks on him by talking smack.
“I’m gonna tell, Tony!
Lachey brings us back to vote time and declares our winners: Team Carrie Ann. Based on last week’s performances, I have to agree, although during the past hour and a half (has it been THAT long!?), Team Bruno has out performed their rivals. Bruno is surprised because he says “they deliver what the show is about.” he also says he’s “sorry that America can’t figure it out.” Don’t bite the hand the feeds you, Bru-dog!
Especially on country night!
Bruno ends up picking Kelsey, (she “proved my methods actually work…a star was bron tonight”), Philip (Bruno says he “saw the charisma switch on” which is surprising considering that, casting aside any inherent dislike of Philip, he was pretty much in the background today), and Lacey ( who is “somebody that’s always proved very strong vocally, as a dancer, as a performer”) as his first three. Zach and Tony are left in the final two, and it’s pretty clear who’s going to come out on top of this thing. I almost wish for Tony’s sake, that he could have a dance-off with Zack, but then I knock some good sense into myself (aka booze) and realize that I don’t care about Tony even a little bit.
So Zack beats Tony in a rendition of some country song I’ve never heard of that I had to look up called “If Tomorrow Never Comes” after Tony’s singing sounds like he has vibrating egg up his ass and Zack’s is just ok. Bruno calls making the decision “The Unfairest Night in Television History” because, let’s face it, hyperbole is what Bruno does best.
“Clearly, I am the King of Television!”
Tony is pretty composed in his goodbye saying he’s honored to have danced with everyone, and that this is just a stepping stone. He also said he was happy to walk it out with the best, but clearly he hasn’t met Gwen Verndon. Also, Bruno starts pointing at Tony saying “that’s a man, that’s an American.” Bruno, being the adorably bewildered immigrant that he is, must’ve gotten caught up with the country music night. So, anyone out there think Team Carrie Ann can pull three in a row? Yeah, me neither. Guess we’ll see next week. Until then!