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There was so much exciting activity on Dancing with the Stars this week! Okay, maybe not that much. It’s just that there were two perfect scores, and in the spirit of optimism and pride that the Olympics inspire, I thought I’d try my hand at excessive enthusiasm for once. Needless to say, the five remaining couples sizzled on the dance floor, with Drew and Stacy jockeying for domination yet again. Any guesses on who got those perfect scores?Now, before I started this episode, I took a gander at my Tivo. This show would be ninety minutes. Did I read that correctly? Ninety minutes? But there were only five couples. Okay, five couples AND a Viennese Waltz. That should still top out at sixty minutes. What sort of torturous filler would ABC be forcing upon us? Well, first, we received an extended “Previously on” opening montage. Then, for the first time, we also sat through a preview tease of what would be coming later in the show. And finally, at SIX minutes into the show (six minutes where nothing had happened), the professional dancers surfaced to demonstrate the five different dances we’d be seeing that evening.
This segment, although totally superfluous, was mildly amusing. Our old friend Ashly Delgross joined Louis Van Amstel in the jive — a performance which seemed to move at hyper-speed, as opposed to the lackadaisical tempo of the house band’s version of “Faith.” I really thought Ashly — who at times resembled a supersonic spinning top — might go flying off into the stands, but Louis somehow kept her under control. And what did she do to repay him? She stuck her foot in his crotch. Yes, when pulling her between his legs, she squarely planted her high heel right in between his legs. I don’t know if it was a necessary technique or what, but it looked painful and horrible. Maybe that’s why Master P could never master his moves.
After Ashly and Louis (or Ashouis… or Louishly) left the stage, Mr. Matinee Idol himself, John Roberts, emerged with Bride of Stalin, Anna to do a little tango. They were then followed by Edyta and Max, who performed the rumba to seminal chest-thumping classic, “My Heart Will Go On.” Sadly, the performance was marred by the house band’s singer whose voice cracked during the song’s crescendo. Maybe she got one of Edyta’s feathers stuck in her mouth. Wouldn’t be surprising since they were shedding all over the dance floor. Tony and Cheryl stepped out next to do the ever passionate Paso Doble, and lastly, Nick and Andrea (Kenny Mayne’s unfortunate partner) took the floor to perform the quickstep. This unnecessary pastiche of dancing finally drew to a close with all the professional dancers gathering in a random group-hug/dancing-circle for the big finale. How wonderful. Now, can we start this damn show?
First up this week were Jerry and Anna, who were still fuming over their low scores last week. But it’s all water under the bridge now, and besides, Jerry couldn’t fret about scores when he had business to attend to. Yes, Jerry had to go to the Superbowl where he was honored in a pre-game MVP ceremony. And guess what? He took his buddy Anna with him. I’m surprised she didn’t scoff at the whole event, saying, “What is this Superbowl? Is this a game? Why don’t they play hockey? This is ridiculous. Real men don’t chase a ball around. They drink vodka!”
The best part about Anna, however, is her dismissive act of calling anything Jerry does “football.” At one point, when he was signing autographs, she simply moaned to the camera, ” Okay, enough of football. We gotta go dance now.” He wasn’t playing football, Anna, but that’s okay. I can imagine her and Jerry at a restaurant, and after he meanders too long at the salad bar, she barks, “Enough football, I want to get back to the table.”
Well, the two did manage to practice, and Anna had a very evocative tactic this week. She wanted Jerry to stick a quarter in his butt cheeks and hold on tight. Saucy! But enough football, let’s get to the dancing.
At sixteen minutes into the show, Jerry and Anna finally took the stage to perform the Paso Doble. “Disembodied Englishman, announce that dance!” Tom Bergeron said in his introduction. Oh Tom. So clever. If only you weren’t stealing an already lame joke from, sigh, Adam Sessler. Great minds think alike, I suppose.
Anyway, the dance began, and ooh! Look at this! Anna was playing the matador. How very gender-reversal, women’s studies chic! But soon, Jerry took over the role, and truthfully, he did a pretty solid job. His posture seemed good, his feet were moving quite fast — I thought for sure he might even earn some nines. Not that it mattered, really. He’s so popular, he could overcome straight zeros. With the crowd cheering “Jerry! Jerry!” as usual, Len rained on this bullfighting parade by saying, “For me, there was nothing to make me jump up and down.” Oh, Len. Enough football!
Well, Bruno could disagree more. “You’re turning into Judge Dredd here!” he yelled, regrettably reminding us of one of modern cinema’s less savory offerings. Later, Bruno forced another analogy out, saying, “It was like Moses parting the Red Sea!” Not really sure how that applies to ballroom. Maybe it was a reference to Jerry emerging from a shell or whatever. Carrie Ann kept it simply and to the point: “Finally! That was fantastic!”
The excitement and enthusiasm was so contagious that when Samantha Harris intercepted the duo backstage, she bizarrely semi-sang, semi-chanted the line, “He… is… the… WARRIOR. Oh yeah!” What the? I don’t know if that was an homage to Patty Smyth and Scandal or simply an original composition, but it was horrible. No more, Samantha.
As for the scores, Jerry pulled in an eight, a seven, and an eight for a total of twenty-three. Kind of low, considering the praise. But Jerry did have a few stumbles, and that’ll always get you, I guess. Sorry, Jer. I was pulling for you.
Next were Drew and Cheryl, the latter of which was looking quite breasty tonight. I mean, her cleavage wasn’t showing or anything, but her boobies were pointing out like she might have had two Baked Alaskas stuffed into her brassiere. Anyway, Drew’s big challenge of the week was to fix his bunchy shoulders — a problem that took about two second to remedy. Once that was done, his wife and brother (a.k.a. Nick Lachey) stopped by rehearsal — totally spontaneously, I’m sure — to bother him about needing to leave for Superbowl Sunday. Basically, this was just an elaborate way to get Nick Lachey on camera more.
Well, Drew and Cheryl took the stage and performed the tango to the tune of “Shut Up” by the Black Eyed Peas. I personally was shocked that the BEPs didn’t show up in person for this event. Honestly, how could they turn down the chance to appear on national TV? They must have been out performing at a Bar Mitzvah or assisted living facility.
Anyway, the judges absolutely loved the performance, with Bruno calling it “SMASHING!” Then again, that’s what he says when he eats Chicken McNuggets. Len then said it was Drew’s best yet (not better than the “Thriller” Paso Doble in my book), and Carrie Ann continued the love-fest with general ecstatic praise.
As for the score? Ten, ten, ten! A perfect thirty! Wow, good for Drew, but… I didn’t think it was THAT good. Whatever, it’s not worth getting excited over.
Next up was the man who Bruno called a “fruit cocktail” last week: George Hamilton. And yes, we then saw him slurping down a fruit cocktail. Oh George. So hilarious. Anyway, George and Edyta were dancing the rumba this week, and Mr. Zorro was concerned that he wouldn’t look masculine. Maybe he needs the help of a surprise guest. And who would that be? Why, only the paradigm of masculinity, Alex Mazo, a.k.a. partner of Kelly Monaco and winner of last season’s trophy. Alex strutted into George’s dance studio, and an awkward silence hung in the air as the audience refrained from applauding his return. But guys, it’s ALEX MAZO!!!
Anyway, George and Edyta eventually performed their rumba, which was charming and elegant as usual. Carrie enjoyed it, and Bruno made a random Dynasty reference, saying, “Alexis Carrington and Blake Carrington in the first encounter.” I don’t get it either.
Len, however, was disappointed, explaining that “Edyta’s flatulating around you.” Granted, “flatulating” isn’t actually a word, but if it were a word, chances are it would mean something very unflattering on Edyta’s part. And if it meant what I think it was supposed to mean, I’d probably want to evacuate the premises at once. Edyta LOVES beans!
Ultimately, the two pulled in two eights and a seven, tying Jerry and Anna with twenty-three points.
Appearing on stage next was Lisa Rinna, wearing a dress that looked like it had been cut from the hide of a Fry Guy. I won’t bash Lisa too harshly this week, though. She’s apparently had a rough few days mastering the quickstep, causing her to cry in rehearsal yet again. To ease her anxiety and help her get into the ballroom character, Louis brought in an etiquette expert who may or may not have been Betty White. This woman taught Lisa all sorts of prim and proper things like how to hold a teacup and carry a book on one’s head. Yes, Lisa was going to transform into the refined noblewoman of her predestination… perfect for galloping across the dance floor to the twangy tune of “9 to 5.”
Anyway, the etiquette worked, and Lisa wowed over the judges with her quickstep. Len praised her (causing her to flip out, natch), and then Carrie empowered her, saying, “You can do ballroom, girl!” At this point, I thought Lisa might just hop on the desk and yell “COLLAGEN FOR EVERYONE!! IT’S ON ME!!!” And Bruno rounded out the compliments by announcing, “The emancipation of Lisa is now complete!”
Ultimately, Lisa pulled in straight nines for a score of twenty-seven (remember when that used to be an amazing score? Thanks, Drew and Stacy), and backstage, she told Samantha, “I don’t normally cry that much. I don’t.” Oh, come on. Don’t try to hide it. You cry at Dove commercials. We can tell.
Samantha then said, “You really seem to have an emotional energy that’s gotta be exhausting for you.” Translation: holy shit, you’re wearing me out with your constant yelling.
The last couple of the evening were the unstoppable force known as Stacy and Tony. Since they were doing the jive, they decided to visit the troops at Camp Pendleton. After all, it was the soldiers who originally spread the joy of the jive around the world. And also, it’s a really good way to pander for votes.
Anyway, the two arrived at the base, which was just like the classy Dancing with the Stars set, except with posters like “Body slam me, Stacy.” Tom Bergeron probably designed that poster. Well, Stacy and Tony told us that they were going to test out their jive and see how it would go over with the troops. As if the troops would even care. Stacy could stand up there and brush her teeth, and the guys would hoot and holler. Still, it would be pretty funny if the Marines suddenly became ballroom snobs and turned their noses up. “We wanted better posture. Dismissed.”
Well, Stacy and Tony’s trip went off without a hitch, and they soon took the stage, jiving to Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” And yes, this was the second George Michael musical appearance of the night. Maybe the Viennese Waltz will be to “Careless Whisper.” Hat trick!
Anyway, Stacy, as usual, rocked the performance, flicking her super long legs with all the agility of a cat. The two bounced and spun all around the dance floor, with Stacy ultimately winding up right on the judges’s laps. Literally. (The dance ended with her sitting on the judges’s desk or podium or table or whatever it is.)
No surprise here. Bruno loved it, and Len, he loved it too, despite early fears that Stacy might be like a daddy-long-legs. And yes, I would love to see a daddy-long-legs do the jive. Carrie, meanwhile, summed it up: “That was pretty much perfect.” Sure was, which was why Stacy and Tony earned three tens for a perfect score of thirty. Ha, hope you weren’t getting too comfortable there in the top spot, DREW.
Backstage, Tony dragged Drew off the couch and ribbed him a bit, and somehow, Drew managed to look like a thirteen year old kid. Especially when Stacy and Tony began rubbing his head like the little rascal he was. It also didn’t help that for whatever reason, Drew only seemed to be as tall as their navels.
Eventually, Samantha had to toss back to Tom, and when she took too long, she apologized, saying, “Sorry for keeping you. I just have a lot of fun talking to everyone back here!” Oh Sammy. The pleasure is all ours.
If you thought the evening was over, you’re wrong. It was time for the Viennese Waltz! The Indy 500 of dancing! Ooooh!
The whole cast minus Jerry (who was at the Superbowl) gathered at the stage to practice this dance, and unlike the group salsa, this time, everyone was having fun. Jokester George kept spirits high by letting his pants fall down, and no one got as big a kick out of this than, you guessed it, Lisa. “GEORGE!” she laugh/yelled. Comedy has returned to network TV, and its name is George Hamilton.
Anyway, all the couples took to the dance floor and performed to Alicia Keys’ “Fallin.” What made this dance special was that each couple would get a bit of a solo time in the center, and since they weren’t being judged, they could do illegal things, like lifts. Oooh! This meant that everyone except George tried to show off their moves. Most impressive, in my eyes, were Lisa and Louis, mostly because Louis pretty much swung Lisa all around the floor, her face just inches away from massive scraping. Jerry also had an impressive, two tier lift, but it was undermined by Anna’s dress flapping in his face, not to mention his teetering steps which made him look like he might just topple over.
And so ended this bloated edition of Dancing with the Stars. Next week kicks off the semi-finals, but first…
Once again, I’m not doing a full recap of the results show because, well, there’s only so much time that I have. Still, the hour did have some noteworthy moments, like when I spied what looked to be Paige Davis in the audience. And who can forget the reenactment of the Dirty Dancing final scene? Cheryl and Tony took the roles of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze and performed that famous coda — and yes, Cheryl did do that climactic lift to perfection. I never thought Tony could look any goofier than he already does, but watching him do that Patrick Swayze strut/finger snap really took him to a new level. I also enjoyed Bill Medley croaking through “Time of My Life” with his warbling daughter, who looked not unlike Kelly Osbourne. But in the end, it was all about results, and this week, we said goodbye to George Hamilton. Sad, but expected. At least we won’t have any corny jokes to contend with anymore.
With four couples left, who will be ousted next week? Is Jerry next? Or will his massive fanbase save him? Might there be a monumental upset? I got a bad feeling about this, Lisa…
What do you think?