Shame on you. We all know lifts aren’t allowed this early on Dancing With The Stars.
Before we recap, let me apologize for my lateness. I had some technical difficulties this week in the form of a little tabby who pressed a button on a remote she shouldn’t have, leaving me the victim of a kitty practical joke…and I am not amused. Instead of Monday’s DWTS, when I played back my tape I had Guiding Light and Judge Judy. It isn’t the first time she’s pulled something like this. Last week a forty pound box of catnip toys was delivered, and I know I didn’t order it…although the fish shaped one is kind of fun.
Deceptively cute culprit.
Luckily, I saw portions of Monday’s show live, and I watched some of the rest on the ABC website…although I couldn’t watch all of it, as the gerbils who run my overworked laptop went on strike. From what I saw, here’s what I know:
Samantha Harris has returned to her rightful place – stage left of Tom Bergeron – and she looks lovely in a silvery satin gown with a black bow, slightly askew, stuck on the front. Anyone following these columns since the beginning of the season knows just how grateful I am that she’s back.
Raise your hand if you miss Lachey. Didn’t think so.
We began the show with Mark Cuban and his partner Kym. The intro video stressed how hard they’re working, but unfortunately for them all that practicing only produced a lackluster waltz. And I thought I saw a little lift in there, which, if I remember correctly, is verboten. Cuban then stood before the judges with his perma-sneer…chin tipped up and peering down his nose, as though he’s merely tolerating these mortal pronouncements about his performance. The judges are non-plussed, and give the pair only 22 points…which is still more than it deserves. And Bruno gives an inspired speech during which he called Mark “Big Foot in a suit.” Whether Bruno meant Sasquatch or the appendage at the end of a leg, it’s still an apt description. Samantha, however, is more enthusiastic, telling Mark and Kym they had the best dance of the night so far. Brilliant commentary, Samantha….they were the first couple on the floor. I’m so glad she’s back!!!
The Cheetah Girl and pro-dancer Mark are next. Sabrina has a smile so big, it looked like she borrowed a set of Osmo-chops. There are plenty of dramatic movements, and the two produce a pretty good Paso Doble, but there’s still something about her I don’t like. It might have something to do with the make-up she’s applied with a trowel…or maybe I just don’t appreciate the producers foisting off someone with dance experience as an “amateur.” Regardless, amid florid accolades, the judges award Sabrina and Mark the first perfect score of the season…and Bruno gets confused as to which feline the girl represents, calling her a “little lynx on the prowl.”
I don’t want to go to school!
The lovely Jane Seymour and her partner Tony then perform their Viennese Waltz, and the beauty of the dance gets lost amid the Biggest. Controversy. Ever. Was that a…gasp…LIFT???? Carrie Ann was nearly apoplectic as she insisted she saw Tony lift Jane. Apparently she forgot the near lifts in the other two dances we had just seen…for someone reason this assisted spin sent the woman over the top, and a near fight broke out at the scorers’ table. Geez…a crash two weeks ago in their best Nascar imitation. Now a Hockey-worthy fight. What’s next? An NBA style brawl on the court or an NFL-like arrest for wife beating?
The problem actually seems to stem from Carrie Ann re-writing the rules. She was suddenly insisting there can be no moves a dancer could not singly execute. Well, Carrie Ann, that would mean no death drops, legs held over the shoulder, or the ever-popular arms around the neck while being dragged. Half the stuff they do can’t be done all by yourself…that’s why they compete as couples. Did Tony and Jane come close to violating the rule? Maybe…but no closer than the other pairs, and on the replay, it’s questionable. The move certainly didn’t deserve the undue attention it was given, and the endless replays weren’t nearly as fun as watching Jennie’s fall. In spite of the railing, the score is a respectable 26.
Dr. Quinn is gonna be burned at the stake after this short commercial break.
After Carrie Ann has been shot up with a healthy dose of ketamine, the program continues. Tonight boxer Floyd Mayweather and his partner, Karina, are heeding the judges’ advice from last week and taking on the paso doble…which I may or may not be spelling correctly. My spellcheck doesn’t speak ballroom. Something about Floyd’s dancing puts me in mind of Ed Grimley. In spite of my impression, the judges say he’s improving. Frankly, that isn’t saying much. The judges also choose not to notice that Karina left the floor completely during the dance. No question. The girl was air-born. 23 points for the pair, which seems to please Floyd and Karina.
Melanie B. and Maksim have chosen to waltz this week. An interesting decision, as I thought she would have gone for the more aggressive dance. In the rehearsal footage, Maks is wearing the stupid traveling hat. Ownership of the ugly little porkpie changes weekly. Maybe next week Marie will wear it. Old Spice also made Maks lie on a mat by a gong and a pond full of koi to meditate. He looked like he wanted to hit her in the head with a big rose quartz crystal, but the resulting dance is a marked improvement. Elegant, smooth, and she’s obviously been working on her arm placement. Len and Bruno are especially complimentary, but Carrie Ann states flatly that, in spite of the graceful submission on the floor, when she opens her mouth, Mel B. still sounds like a truck driver. Guess those meds haven’t kicked in yet. The waltz scores a 26.
How many times are you gonna ask me if your butt looks big in those pants?
Cameron Mathison and Nearly Naked Edyta are next. She tells us the music they’ve been assigned is difficult to choreograph. When the piece begins, it’s evident she wasn’t just complaining: it’s a particular movie theme which doesn’t lend itself to any kind of dance. While the song is Superman, Edyta’s costume has more of a Princess Leia-during-her-Jaba-captivity feel. Her attempt to distract us turns out to be unnecessary, as Cameron is almost good. The man had a large “S” emblazoned on the front of his shirt, which I’m certain stands for “SuperStiff,” but for the paso, that works.
Wouldn’t want this performance to give you tan lines or anything.
I will point out that Edyta used Cameron’s chest to brace herself and kick both legs up behind her, over his head. All the contestants have decided to disregard the feet on the floor thing this week. Carrie Ann references the lift, but lets it pass. Len decrees that Cam and the paso go together like fish and chips…the only food England does really well. Bruno shouts words of praise which include hero and well done. Three nines for a 27. Again, arbitrary I say. Jane and Mel B. were both better, but scored lower. Since the judges didn’t ask my opinion, we move on.
Marie Osmond, owner of the original Osmo-chops, and her partner Jonathon are playing to her strengths again this week, going with a waltz. As part of the prep, Marie took a basic ballet class to help her posture (specifically keeping her ribcage high and shoulders low, while looking relaxed) and also improving her (already good) arms. Their performance wasn’t the best of the night, but was still something to proud of…except for the assisted lift that was just like Jane and Tony’s. Long shame! Len declares the dance gentle and lovely. Bruno is less positive, saying it was like Sleeping Beauty never woke up. Carrie Ann compliments the over-all dance, but cites the head rolls as “stripperish.” Sleeping Beauty as a stripper. Well, that’s a direction I bet ol’ Walt never expected Disney to go. 26 points.
One exhausted stripper.
Our local ABC affiliate slips in a Mark Cuban/Dancing With The Stars I.D. during the break, by the way. This is media market ten. I wonder how big a market ya have to be in to get one of the good stars.
Jennie Garth and her boy, Derek, have chosen the paso for this week. The video from these two has a lot of Jennie’s “mommy time” included. I’m not one of those women swayed by warm, fuzzy, exploitive kid moments, so this did nothing to influence my vote. In spite of my dislike for this pair, I’ll admit they did a great job. I believe it was the best dance of the night (regardless of the score the judges awarded to Sabrina and Mark.) But, be darned if there wasn’t another lift!!! What is going on? Bruno loves it, and praises the performance and the choreography as superb. Carrie Ann spots the off-the-floor feet. Oddly, however, she tells them “it’s okay, because you dug deep,” thereby confirming everything I suspected when it comes to the scoring of this show. Len announces he’s having a “lift-free zone.” I think he means a “zone that’s free of penalties for lifts,” which would not be the same thing…so he’s really having a “grammar-free zone.” The dance, he says, is bloomin’ fantastic. Jennie and Derek get a 27.
Don’t fall, mommy. The other kids will make fun of me again.
Last, my favorite couple, Helio Castroneves and Julianne, take on the waltz. The video of the practice sessions shows a little conflict between the two, as they debate the merits of concentrating on some of the smaller details of the dance. From the looks of the performance, they should have spent more time on Helio’s posture, and less on the tiny hand movements. They do manage to keep at least one of Julianne’s feet on the floor at all times…like teens from the 1950′s trying to keep the letter of the law while sharing a bed. Carrie Ann says watching this couple dance makes her happy to be alive…but maybe that’s just the ketamine talking. Len loves it…and falls back into racing metaphors to emphasize how much. I think the writers must be out of gas. Bruno describes them as sunlight. The final tally: 27.
Adventures of Curvy and Scurvy
And that’s it for another round. I’m looking forward to the results show…and not just because Mark Cuban should be in danger of being sent home. Entertainment includes world-renowned choreographer Wade Robson in a very rare performance.
Now I’m going to find a hiding a place for my remote control so we never have this problem again.
Your side of beef has arrived.