I love that on this show, the previouslies are made to look like Olde Tymie footage. Did you know last week was actually 1932? Anways, last week in 1932, Rocco was eliminated while Cloris somehow managed to hang on for another week.
This week, back in 2008, the couples will be dancing four new dances. It’s taken them seven seasons to add new dances to the mix? Said dances are: the Hustle, the Jitterbug, Salsa, and West Coast Swing (one of which will be performed by Lacey, OF COURSE, because she is utterly predictable.) Does the Schwimmer family get royalties from performances of West Coast Swing? Why do they push it so hard everywhere they go?
It looks like these new styles cause some tension in rehearsal, so let’s get to it, shall we? Useless Samantha needs to start wearing dresses with sleeves because her shoulder bone could poke out my eye THROUGH THE TV. Seriously, girl, SANDWICH. WITH MAYO.
The two couples doing the jitterbug (that’s my guess based on their 1950′s costumes and utter un-originality on the part of the costume designers on this show) look utterly ridiculous. I mean, Brooke Burke is in pigtails! Put her in pigtails all you want, but I don’t think anyone is going to buy that she is an innocent teenager at this point in her career. And by career I mean fake boobs. I do enjoy Kym Johnson’s Ode to Disco Style combo of Farah Fawcett hair AND Xanadu headband, though fringed legwarmers should be an actual crime punishable with jail time. My eyes!
We are half way through the season so Tom promises more crankiness from the judges. Yessssssss. Useless Samantha reminds us that there will be four new dances tonight, because she is that useless. Since there are eight pairs left, and four dances, we will see each dance twice, back to back, head to head.
The best part of this episode is when Len describes all the different styles and they pan over to the dancers and Derek has this look on his face like he understands Len even less than I do. I thought he would be clearer in person. Go figure.
Up first are Lance and Lacey. Last week his tango earned him his highest scores yet, so he feels redeemed from all those years he was known as “The Worst Dancer in *NSync.” Yeah great improvement. Now he’s known as “The Second Guy from *NSync to Be on Dancing With the Stars” (‘Cause you know he ain’t winning this shit.) Ok, yeah, the Schwimmer family totally has money in the West Coast Swing. OF COURSE, this week they’re taking a field trip to visit Lacey’s dad, who brought West Coast Swing into the ballroom world.
In performance, Lance and Lacey look the most normal they have looked all season. The performance is kind of slow, considering this is supposed to be about down and dirty and swinging. Lance is the squarest swing dancer I’ve ever seen. Ill the little parts where they groove on their own, he looks like a total nerd. Let go, Lance! Oops, they do a slide move across the floor and he falls. Ok, pull it back, Lance! They do a few cool moves, but it’s actually just Lacey doing cool things while Lance stands around in the background.
Len’s criticism is right on point when he tells Lacey she needs to pull back a little on her (admittedly awesome) talent and show Lance off more. Bruno agrees and reminds Lacey that it’s “Dancing With the Stars,” not “Dancing Around the Stars.” They all think Lance showed his talent last week, so he needs to trust that and Lacey does too. Scores: 7, 7, 7, for a total of 21.
Up next, also doing the West Coast Swing is Toni Braxton. Last week she did a respectable job, but not great. Toni wants to get a higher score for once, so they’re working their butts off this week. Especially on her posture.
In performance, they’re dancing to a cover of “The Way You Make Me Feel,” which is awesome. Ever since Center Stage, I have had a deep and abiding love for dance routines set to this song, though there is a definite lack of onstage motorcycle-riding that will lose them a few points in my book. Also, I wonder if the Moonwalk is a traditional West Coast Swing step. They’re good, but I’m starting to think that unless you are an expert in this style, the dance doesn’t lend itself to excitement.
Bruno thought the dance was slinky and sexy and all that, but commented on how few elements of West Coast Swing were actually present in this routine. He, too, hated the Moonwalk section. Carrie Ann thought Toni over-thought the dance, saying that West Coast Swing is all about the “feeling.” Len thinks she has all the potential, and that she just needs to regroup and show them next week. Spoiler: Dun dun DUNNNNNN! Scores for Toni: 7, 7, 8, for a total of 22.
Next up on the dance floor are Susan Lucci and Tony performing the Hustle. The Looch is feeling confident this week after being praised so highly by the judges last week. I wouldn’t get too comfortable, Looch. You still kind of suck. While we are treated to photos of a gorgeous young Susan Lucci from the ’70′s, the Looch explains that she has a lot of experience with the Hustle after living through said decade. I bet she also had a lot of experience with cocaine. There’s some rehearsal drama about the Looch’s hurt ankle, but I don’t buy it ERICA KANE!
Ok, now I feel like a jerk because she actually has a broken bone in her foot, but apparently she’s ok to move on it as long as she can dance through the pain. In performance, she doesn’t look like she’s in any pain. Though she’s still timid in my book, she looks like she’s having a ton of fun. Perhaps she’s remembering her glory days at Studio 54. I bet Studio 54 longs for those days considering nowadays it’s occupied by Stockard Channing and Martha Plimpton in Pal Joey. I know.
Carrie Ann thought the Lucci looked like she was having a ton of fun, and represented disco well. She notes that she didn’t see any pain, but still thinks Lucci is dancing behind a glass box. The Looch just looks at her like she’s crazy. Or maybe she’s mad? The Looch’s face is tight as a drum, I just can’t tell at all. Len also thinks they’ve been holding back, but blames Tony for treating Susan like a china doll. He wants them to “wow” him… by taking off her knickers. Len, please leave the sexual harassment to Bruno. It’s what he’s here for. Bruno thought it was an “uptown” hustle and wishes she’d come down to Times Square. Not these days. Today Times Square is Mary Poppins and Shrek. They’re all about knickers on now in Times Square. Scores for the Looch: 7, 7, 8, for a total of 22, which is still generous, I think.
Up next, Warren Sapp. Last week the judges were disappointed in his performance because they are jerks. It seems Warren is demoralized which is manifesting itself in the form of exhaustion in rehearsals. Come on, Warren! If you can win a Super Bowl ring, I’m sure you know how to dig deep. He asks Kym to push him and they kick it into high gear. He’s clearly feeling better as he almost breaks her arm with a high five.
In performance (to “Funkytown”), Warren and Kym are pretty awesome. They do multiple lifts and fancy armwork and it’s really Warren Sapp’s faces that make the performance. They’re both so into it. OMG, he just threw her on his shoulder with one arm. Definitely the most fun to watch tonight!
Len says that this is what he has been talking about all night. He thought it was great and said their timing worked with the music. Bruno says that Warren knows the Funk: “He eases his way in, builds up the rhythm and delivers a HUGE climax at the end!” There’s disgusting Bruno. Sidenote, Jesus Christ what is that singer in green wearing? Scores for Warren and Kym: 8, 8, 9, for a total of 25. Sounds like the audience and I agree that those scores should have been waaay higher.
Next up Cloris and Corky, who will Salsa. Last week they got their best scores yet, but still ended up in the bottom two. This week’s rehearsal time waster, we see Cloris out meeting her adoring public. Corky thinks Cloris’ acting skills helped them last week and asks her to bring that again this week to their Salsa.
In performance, Cloris once again knows all her stips! She’s not half bad when she actually puts some effort in. I mean, she still moves like and 80 year old, but she’s moving! It’s actually a cute routine and though he fondles her chest as part of the choreography, the routine was not as vulgar as it has been in previous weeks.
Bruno comments that “the old girl can still turn a trick.” Bruno is such an underminer.He compliments that she actually did a Salsa, but it looked like she’d had a pitcher of Margaritas before she performed. Carrie Ann says she loves Cloris because everyone in the audience loves her. Um, that’s not really a good reason when you’re a JUDGE. Len loves Cloris because she’s the only person on this show older than he is. Scores for Cloris: 7, 7, 7, for a total of 21. Why is everyone getting 21′s or 22′s? Can the judges give anything besides a 7?
Up next are Maurice Green and Cheryl Burke. They had a hit from the judges last week, and it’s manifesting itself in Cheryl as insecurity about doing the Salsa. Cheryl snobs that she teaches ballroom, not salsa, so she’s on unfamiliar ground as well. She’s having trouble teaching him because she herself isn’t sure what’s going on. They have mini-drama in rehearsal because she thinks he doesn’t care when really he’s just trying not to freak out because that would be counterproductive. It’s such a lovers’ quarrel. Are they doin’ it?
In performance, I’m totally mesmerized by Chery’s poufy skirt. They dance well, and Maurice gets into it, blowing a kiss to the judges. All that freaking out from Cheryl worked out because they look great. He shakes and shimmies and keeps up well with Cheryl and that’s something considering it looks like he didn’t have time to change out of his red satin pajamas.
Carrie Ann summons Maurice Green in a fake out of bad criticism, but of course, she just loved it and gives him a big hug. Is Carrie Ann wearing a Marchesa gown? Specifically, the one Anne Hathaway wore to the Oscars last year? Does this show have that kind of budget? You’d think they could some singers with better pitch then… Anyways, Len comments that apparently the judges comments are nothing compared to criticism from Cheryl! He says that if he could, he would give Maurice a 10 on energy alone. So Cheryl’s ass-kicking worked! Scores from the judges: 9, 9, 9, for a total of 27, their best score by far!
Last up are the couples doing the Jitterbug. I wonder how, exactly, this differs from the Jive. I’m sure one of the judges will run it down for us. Or not!
Brooke Burke and Derek have been at the top of the leader board for the past four weeks in a row. Can anyone stop her already? Last week Len thought their dancing was a little too dirty, but they were still in the lead by a good six points. Derek doesn’t want them to get comfortable, so he’s pushing for a first place dance every week. Np pressure! He, like the other pros, is a little frustrated while teaching because he’s never done it before in his life. He has to wikipedia how to do the Jitterbug. Ridiculous. Appropriate because he says they want to look like cartoons.
This should be interesting. Of course they look just fantastic in performance. The couples are really stepping up their game this week! I think just about everyone has been great. Anyways, back to Brooke and Derek, they are clean and maintain their high energy through their entire performance, with flips and spins all over the floor. Both of their hairdos are absurd and the hair person should be fired.
Len says Brooke is consistently top notch. Bruno calls it vigorous, upbeat and “an unbelievably stylish rendition of American Grafitti – Glorious!” Carrie Ann can’t even nit pick. Hurray for Wikipedia! Scores for Brooke: 10, 9, 10, for a total of 29. Still ridiculously good.
Last up this evening, Cody and Julianne, clearly going for an “I Love Lucy” theme. Last week the judges thought he was finding his “mojo.” Like Derek, Julianne is unsure of the steps to the Jitterbug. But instead of doing some research on The Internets, Julianne opts to sneak into Derek and Brooke’s rehearsal to see what they’re doing. The look on Cody’ face is kind of priceless when Julianne suggests this, all “WTF have I gotten myself into?”
In rehearsal it looks like they opted to stuff as many tricks into the routine as possible, complete with Cody groaning in pain with each step, so this performance should be interesting. Clearly the producers had a hand in deciding who got what dance, because can you imagine Cloris attempting the Jitterbug? I can, but it ends in her death, so I’m going to stop imagining that. Cody and Julianne are cutesy and high-energy, but I think Brooke and Derek’s routine had a greater impact.
Bruno says it was a “firebug” and goes on about frantic energy. The only frantic person I’m seeing right now is you, Bruno. He also enjoyed their acting. Carrie Ann thought this dance was perfectly suited to Cody, and thinks he’s giving Brooke a run for her money. Len also liked it very much. Whoa, Derek and Julianne are siblings? That makes sense. Scores for Cody: 10, 9, 9, for a total of 28. Derek celebrates his victory. Is this going to be a showdown with the siblings? We’ll see….