Last week we tipped our ten-gallons, tucked our jeans into our glittery cowboy boots, and bade farewell to the prettiest non-American on the show, all in honor of this great nation. This week, we celebrate what it means to be ashamed of the things you love. Hey, hold the phone! Did my ears deceive me, or is this is a theme we can all get behind? This will be the common thread that binds us all—what could be more universal than living in fear of the judgment of others? Right? Well, if you’ve ever felt the burn of that special sort of shame that accompanies catching yourself singing along with Firehouse (shut up), Journey, or some other such atrocity, this may well be the episode for you, because this week, the stars are going to own their most shameful preferences.
Not Bruno’s, though. We don’t want to know about those.
According to Tom, ballroom dancing is actually the guiltiest pleasure of them all. As someone who has used the internet, I can’t say I agree, but I do admit that about 93 percent of everything ever typed into Google has no place on a wholesome network such as ABC, so ballroom dancing it is! Speaking of unholy abominations, why am I looking at OLD HANSON?? There they are, dressed like they’re about to give a PowerPoint presentation and crooning out Mmmbop like we needed a reminder of why we hate them. I wasn’t aware anyone who actually liked this song had the mental faculties or sense of shame necessary to bother with guilt, so I’m not sure how Hanson equals a guilty pleasure, but in any case, I’m sure they’re grateful for a paycheck now that they’re all old enough to open their own bank accounts. Oh LORD, Hanson will be with us all night, promoting their new album, because the Apocalypse has to happen sometime, I guess. But how sad is this situation as a whole? How would you like to be the go-to band representing all bands that no one will admit to liking? Aw. Poor Hanson.
Still, fuck them.
We know the show has begun because everyone is ambling down the long staircase. Surprisingly, no one has bitten the dust on them so far (not even Maks), and it only takes about thirty seconds to get them all down to the main platform. Remember the old days when there were twice as many people and everyone had aged a decade by the time we got to the dancing? I certainly can appreciate the more efficient version of the opening ceremonies.
On with the show! Presenting to us the Samba are Kirstie and Maks. They will be dancing to …Baby One More Time, causing seismic disruption in Brazil as all the great Samba dancers of the past simultaneously try to leap out of their graves and halt the proceedings. To no avail, though, because it seems they are going through with this, regardless of any Brazilian undead.
You don’t have to be faster than the zombies, Maksim; you just have to be faster than Kirstie.
Maks has putting the smackdown on Kirstie during rehearsal, because he’s seeing her lose confidence and second guess herself and generally screw the pooch throughout the practice week. She is aiming for all nines, but I predict she will have to first overcome her godawful respiratory issues. Seriously, she’s wheezing like Sean Astin in The Goonies. I assume they practice the hell out of all this, and I wonder if she’s really lacking in energy to that extent, or if she’s psyching herself into hysterics. Either could be the case at this point.
Anyway, they get down to that awful Britney song, and it seems to go just fine, as in no one fell on Maks or lost a leg or anything like that. Maks is a very strong partner, and I think that he really forces her to push herself, and won’t let her bring anything but her best efforts to the floor (which is sort of sad, all things considered). Tonight’s was definitely a strong performance, though. We hit the judges’ table and Len starts out right in character, listing each of her mishaps for the season. However, after reminding her how much she’s sucked previously, he concludes by saying she finally fulfilled her potential. Was it the power of Britney? Bruno is unable to refrain from humping the judges’ table right out of the gate, which means he loved it, and Carrie Ann agrees. She announces that Kirstie is “back,” and good for them, I guess; seeing as how they did one good dance at the very beginning and followed it up with a string of clusterfucks, I suppose they can call that a comeback if they want. They score nines from Len and Bruno, and eight from Carrie Ann. Poor Kirstie is hyperventilating, and I don’t know if it’s from the excitement of the nines or the exertion, but I’m too busy concentrating on Maksim’s exposed abs in his golden pirate shirt to give too much of a rat’s ass.
And yes, I'm nice enough to share.
Next up: Chris Jericho and the lovely Cheryl! They’re Tangoing to THAT FUCKING JOURNEY SONG that somehow became popular again because The Sopranos made it cool. Chris Jericho is planning to bring all his onstage intensity to the Tango, but sadly has forever lost whatever rock and roll street cred for shamelessly admitting to loving that song. Goddamn it, Chris, this is Guilty Pleasures Week! Stop being so proud of your crappy taste in music! In the rehearsal footage, Cheryl says she’s going to kick his ass for the sake of precision, because now that he’s in the top scorers, he has to perfect his technique. He is pumped to do so, because Chris Jericho is usually pretty damn pumped, regardless of the conversation at hand.
Though it’s not showing here, to be honest. They sort of look like a divorced couple being forced to dance together at their son’s wedding—big, plastic smiles under dead eyes, whispering obscenities at each other through clenched teeth. Also, he’s “accidentally” crushing the hell out of her hand.
Speaking of pumped, he certainly does look good, but that cover band…man, can they just bring back David Garrett and the 46-piece orchestra, already? A moment ago, I’d have bet my life that it was impossible for that song to get any worse…turns out, I was oh so wrong. In any case, Bruno hated the whole thing, but that didn’t stop him from standing up to give his critique. Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno, and said it was Chris’s “off night,” meaning he fucked up in a big way if he’s not getting the goo-goo eyes from his biggest fan. Strangely enough, though, Len actually LIKED it. He said it lacked intensity, but was good overall. Is this opposite week? I thought it was Guilty Pleasures? Anyway, they score 22, with Len giving the high eight.
With a little BlueCanary extra credit thrown in for the sake of the pecs.
Romeo and Chelsie are next, waltzing to that fucking goddamn Titanic theme. Question: doesn’t a guilty pleasure, by definition, have to be pleasurable? I’m not quite buying that Romeo is a Celine Dion fan, but he is all into the romance behind the dance, and is determined to pull down a 10. They glide and twirl, and all I want is for it to end so I can stop hearing that song. They wind things up with a nice little smooch, enchanting the audience—nay, the world—with their heartfelt performance.
When I wake from my nap, I’ll let you know what the judges think.
Oh, did you know? According to Carrie Ann, every once in awhile, something magical happens on Dancing with the Stars, and this was it! This was the moment! I thought they used up the magical proclamation on Petra’s tsunami dance? Can there BE so much magic on one mere competitive dance show? There’s more magic in that single dance than in Tom Marvolo Riddle’s entire magical nutsack! How can anyone else follow such a magical, heart-stopping, showboat of a waltz?
World: "BlueCanary, you're such a bitch." BlueCanary: "I know."
Magic aside, Len thinks he had great maturity, and the dance was touching and poignant. I am thinking of touching myself in the head with a club just to get past this, but I must persevere. Bruno picks on Romeo’s frame and footwork, but calls him Romeo DiCaprio and fawns all over him. Still, I somewhat doubt his sincerity, because he was sitting down. Did he wear himself out reacting to Kirstie and Maks? Maybe he and Kirstie can work on their stamina together? Apparently the kiss wasn’t planned (whatever), and Romeo was going with the flow. They score a magical 10, plus two nines, giving them a high total of 28 and the first 10 of the season. You can just hear Kirstie grinding her teeth in the background.
Magic this, bitches.
We catch up with Chelsea and Mark, and someone mentions that he injured himself during rehearsal. Tom spends about ten seconds pretending like mark might have to sit out the dance, but then it’s never mentioned again. They’re dancing the Quickstep to Walkin’ on Sunshine, and Chelsea tries to downplay her competitive spirit. The bicker back and forth as Mark makes her admit that she wants to WIN. Then they have foreplay a water fight, and finally we get to their dance. Mark seems fine, so was he injured or not?
I’m not sure what the hell this look is all about, but he doesn’t look injured to me. Half gay and goofy as fuck, yes, but not injured.
Mark and Chelsea are big judges’ favorites, so it’s no huge surprise that Len liked it. Bruno did too, but also had some criticism. He’s still sitting, so either he’s less than impressed or he’s pinching back a ripe one. Carrie Ann says it’s another magical moment. Again with that shit! I thought magic only happened once every season or so? They score a 10 and a pair of nines, same as Romeo. Competition! Magical competition!
No, YOU magic THIS. Bitches.
Though Kendra and Louis were on the bottom last week, her performance was much improved from the half-assed attempts at elegance she threw out the first few weeks. These two will be jiggling the Samba, and Kendra’s fake boobs are happy about this. Everything has to be perfect, and Louis is determined to make the judges shake their booties right along with Kendra. That shouldn’t pose a problem where Bruno is concerned, but I’m not interested in seeing that shit from Len, thank you.
Try picturing Len in the little yellow number. You’re welcome.
They drag poor old closeted Ricky Martin into this mess, and Kendra certainly does shake things—right in Len’s face! Up on the table and bent double, just like back in the day! Bruno can’t contain himself; it’s all just too much. Carrie Ann loved it, but is clearly shaken from the face full of unexpected Bunny poontang. Hey, sometimes it comes with the territory. Len announces that Kendra fulfilled one of his guilty pleasures, and we are thankfully spared dwelling on that nightmare because Bruno leaps from his seat, mimes boob squeezing, and invites Kendra to get it on. Then we get the money shot of the night: Bruno’s lost footage as an Elton John backup dancer. Kendra is pretty much incoherent in her response, but that’s not unusual. They get two eights and a nine. Looks like all Kendra needed was something that let her shake that aaaaaasssssss.
"Break it down, Louis--elegance be damned!"
Hines is next, doing the Viennese Waltz to Boyz II Men. Kym wants to show Hines’s romantic side, and he tries as hard as he can to relate ballroom dancing to the masculine, masculine art of NFL football, while admitting that he maybe, possibly, fucks a pillow at home to practice his romance techniques for the show. At least, I think that’s what he said. I could be wrong. Oh my. He proceeds to make my job far too easy by saying, and I quote, that he sings in the shower “because I feel like the water is my fans, coming all over me.” Okay, then.
Hines, my man, I just can’t top that.
Anyway, this song isn’t exactly a guilty pleasure, is it? This song was freaking HUGE when I was in junior high, and I don’t remember anyone being ashamed of liking it. Of course, I just read over that last sentence and realized the words “junior high” automatically cancel out everything I might have thought about the song’s legitimacy. Moving on.
Hines of course can do no wrong with the judges, and Len calls him the Most Valuable Partner, even though he is flat-footed. Ha. Bruno loves the chemistry between Hines and Kym, and loves the dance. Carrie Ann says she saw him thinking, which she’s never seen from him before, and well, that about says it all, doesn’t it? They of course score high, trip nines, because Hines could fall on his face, trip Kym deliberately, and show the judges his gaping, bare asshole, and they’d still throw up the high scores. They just love Hines Ward, and nothing he does or doesn’t do will change that.
Not even Spatula Hands.
Next is Karina and My Schnookums! In last week’s comments, there was a discussion on who was responsible for dressing the couples, and I think someone posted that the pros choose the outfits for both of them each week. That said, what the fuck Karina? This is the Paso Doble—it’s supposed to be strong and masculine, sexy and intense, yet you dress My Schnookums like an organ grinder’s monkey? Thanks a heap, lady. Adding insult to injury, My Schnookums took some heat last week for not giving Bruno “the sex” last week (get your own, Bruno), and Schnook is determined to get back on top of the leaderboard. He’s trying to be sexy his way, and apparently the “wax on, wax off” is the way to go about that? OK, now they’re just fucking with us.
What about this expression says “bring the sex” to you? Not a whole lot, right?
The Paso Doble will be danced to the instant classic Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), because what tune more lends itself to the passion and fire of the Paso? I ask you. But wait! Schnook works it out like nobody’s business, and the crowd goes apeshit. It doesn’t even really ruin things when Karina reaps what she’s sown and stumbles over the end of his awful bellhop coat. It’s what she deserves, but they recover nicely, and no one’s allowed to yell at My Schnookums after glossing over the whole Kirstie fiasco. I don’t think the audience cares, anyway, because they are raining love down on Schnook like he just resurrected Mr. Miyagi. My god, does this country love him, or what?? The judges do too, especially Bruno! He feels the fire! He humps the air and is generally back to his old self. Carrie Ann was happy, and Len loved it, giving nothing but positive feedback, proving that it is, in fact, opposite week. They get a set of eights, lumping them down with Kendra, despite the fact that they brought the audience to its knees. Go My Schnookums!
You done me proud.
So that’s it, and tomorrow we find out who leaves. I’m suspecting Kendra, based on total everything even though she stepped it up, but the whole table dance might save her (what with Len advocating like mad in hopes of a repeat performance). Romeo is clearly not in danger this week, but I’m worried about Chris and (dare I say it?) My Schnookums. But America wouldn’t dare! Would it? Stay tuned to find out!