'Dancing With the Stars': Evan Lysacek leads as Derek Hough breaks the rules
Before any of our celebtestants perform, we get a pro demo of the Waltz, Paso Doble, and Quickstep from Lacey Schwimmer, Jonathan Roberts, Dmitry Chaplin, Anna Demidova, Maks' brother Val Chmerkovskiy, and a blonde named Shauna that I don't believe I've ever seen before.
1. Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Hot Honey Rag" from the musical "Chicago"
It was a cute number and definitely told a story, though I'm not sure how much Len will dig the opening. Evan's a spry one -- he kept up the speed through the whole number, they covered a lot of the floor, and he even did a very smooth, very quick cartwheel. I know I shouldn't be so surprised at the last part, but he's so tall that I don't expect stuff like that. His technique seemed good and his posture is improving. Very entertaining.
Judges: Len said it was "bright and light" and loved the story but advises him to work on his footwork. Bruno agrees, also adding to make sure he keeps his bum tucked in. Carrie Ann thought it had all the right qualities, especially how Evan went around frantically asking where Anna was during the commercial break. Also...we found out in the celebquarium that he had some broken toes this week. Yikes!
Score: 26 (9-8-9)
2. Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa
Dance/Song: Waltz/"What A Wonderful World" a la Ross Mitchell
Their story is Buzz as the father coming home from war to his daughter, an excellent choice. It was very pretty. He's still a little stiff but he did well. I just can't criticize him -- it what it is -- but I must commend Ashly on her choreography. It's simple without being boring or seemingly dumbed down, you know?
Judges: Bruno thought Buzz was very regal but said there were some issues with the slow. Carrie Ann believed the story completely, even him being a bit stiff worked. Len agrees there was an innocent charm but it wasn't that great in terms of dance content.
Score: 13 (5-4-4)
3. Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Walk Like An Egyptian" a la The Bangles
The rehearsal footage explaines why Chelsie's hair looked weird in the wig -- she already has some black in her hair. Interesting. Also, occasionally when she is frustrated and speaks to Jake sternly, he feels like she's disrepectful at times and has to walk away. She says that's not her intent and she'll try to watch her tone. Wuss. Their story is Jake is an archeologist that finds Chelsie's still kicking in her tomb. I really like her outfit. The story was good and he did a solid job but there was something off in the technique. Also, he needs to up his stage presence quotient because he comes off a bit flat to me.
Judges: Carrie Ann commended the choreography but Jake's knees were too soft. Len agreed saying the production was "slick" overall but some of the dance was "slack." Bruno also agrees on all accounts, adding that his footwork also suffers from bad leg position.
Score: 21 (7-7-7)
4. Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel
Dance/Song: Waltz/"With You I'm Born Again" a la Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright
Their story is about being an interracial couple in love in the '60s. It was very well-choregraphed and they definitely conveyed the story -- very pretty. There were a few stumbles in there but overall the technque was there. Sadly, there may be a visit from the lift police...
Judges: Len thought they pulled the story off well without any props, adding that emotionally they were there but she needs to up the quality of the technique. Bruno said they acted the story of "love against all odds" very well but agrees the technique needs work, specifically her feet. Carrie Ann gave her credit for trying to keep her feet on the ground but was a bit confused by the bittersweet ending, though it's an important story and she was glad they told it.
Score: 21 (7-7-7)
5. Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke
Dance/Song: Paso Doble/"Cancion del Mariachi" from the film "Desperado"
Instead of the matador killing the bull, Chad is attempting to seduce Cheryl, but she wants nothing to do with him. "Art imitating life," he semi-jokes. He's definitely attacking the dance and has the character down. He still needs to work on really extending his lines, but the technique is improved from last week for sure. I liked it, it was entertaining.
Judges: Bruno said that Chad "released the Kraken" (yeah, that happened) but he need to keep his posture and lines consistant. Carrie Ann thought his laser-like focus was perfect for the dance and that it was miles ahead from last week. Len agrees he dominated the dance, adding he needs to work on his posture.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)
6. Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood
Dance/Song: Paso Doble/"Don't Let Me be Misunderstood" a la Santa Esmeralda
Pamela will be playing a gypsy/Flamenco dancer who's love with a matador but against what he does -- very apt considering her animal-rights stance. We get our first random guest star in the shape of Charo, who happens to be an anti-bullfight Flamenco dancer. Gah I love Charo; she entertains me endlessly. Pam's intesnisty is good and the technique is solid. Somewhat like Chad before her, she was really attacking the moves but that lead her to mess up a smidge. She needs to work on completing her lines/movements and making sure her arms have purpose so it doesn't look like she's just walking around. If that makes sense.
Judges: Carrie Ann says she has a lot of artisty to her movements but agrees with me that she might have thrown herself off a bit. Len thinks she had good intesnsity but need some refinement. Bruno says that underneath the "sex bomb" image there is a great dancer.
Score: 21 (7-7-7)
7. Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Hey Soul Sister" a la Train
Their story is Aiden is painting a potrait of his dream woman and she comes to life. The technique was good overall, though there was step hiccup or two. You might not have noticed it what with the cracking voice of the vocalist in the band. Poor thing. Anyway, he definitely improved from last week and the story was simple but cute.
Judges: Len thought it was a bit careful and wants him to go for it more. It was a bit skippy for Bruno but it's an improvement from last week. Carrie Ann agrees he has more confidence and has improved but needed a bit more gravity.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)
8. Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance/Song: Waltz/"See the Day" a la Dee C. Lee
During rehearsal, Maks blindfolded Erin as a trust excerise to teach her how to let him lead. Oh ... wait. No, that's actually part of the choreography. OK. Interesting. Her posture and form in hold is really good. She's still having issues pointing her toes, but she's deinitely heading in the right direction. The blindfold was a bit of genius ... especially because it could've been a disaster.
Judges: Bruno said she's great in hold but advies again that she needs to link her movements. Carrie Ann thought it was beautiful storytelling though she could see Erin's death grip on his hand. Len was completely bored by the into and thought there wasn't enough Waltz content. As Tom Bergeron was throwing to commercial, Maks put the blindfold on him but he finished without messing up and without the teleprompter. Someone give this man a freakin' Emmy already.
Score: 23 (8-7-8)
9. Kate Gosslin and Tony Dovolani
Dance/Song: Paso Doble/"Paparazzi" a la Lady Gaga
This week Tony brought in an acting coach to help Kate get into her characters. There are a lot of gears going in her head while she dances -- I can totally tell she's thinking about everything she needs to do. I give credit to her pointing her toes consistently, but there was a stiffness to the number. She need to really work on her flexibility and posture, but it was a bit better than last week (which may not be saying much).
Judges: Carrie Ann called it odd, stating that she was mad but was taking little steps. Len thought she may have conquered her nerves but it lacked passion. Bruno thought she actually played the part well ("super-bitch from hell") but it didn't quite translate into movement.
Score: 15 (5-5-5)
10. Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Quickstep/The Cole Porter standard "Anything Goes"
They're portraying two sailors slacking off in their story. The choreography was very good, and she killed it. It was fun and lively, very "Early Hollywood Musicals," but I wonder how long it'll be until Derek gets in trouble for introducing elements from other dances/genres into the numbers.
Judges: Apparently not much time at all. Len got the story and performance but said it broke way too many rules -- it was vaudeville but not a Quickstep. Bruno thought it was a terrific performance but agrees. Carrie Ann buzzes the lift and hold but loved the act.
Score: 23 (8-6-9) - I'm sorry, what? Really Bruno?
Bottom Two: It should be Kate and Buzz based on execution, but I'm going to go with Kate and Jake. There's a chance of Pamela repeating, but she certainly doesn't deserve it.
Who's Out: I'm sorry, I again have to go with Kate. She's trying valiantly, but her arc of improvement is more like a mild, mild slope.
What do you think? Were you as confused by the scoring as I was? It seemed a bit off comparitively. Do you think Nicole and Derek were overscored considering how severly the broke the rules or does the performance-level trump all? Is who you think should go home the same person who will?
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