'Dancing With The Stars' recap: Celluloid Dreams
The show must be running short tonight because the opening feels twice as long as usual. You know, the part where the band goes, "Ba ba ba ba ba ba baaaa, ba ba ba ba baaaa." It goes ON AND ON. Like I was checking my Twitter feed, waiting for the actual show to start and finally I looked up and thought, "Really? It's still going on? Okay."
Louis, Val, Peta and the lame troupe are on hand to do a dance tribute to the movies. Nice to see Louis back in the fold. They start out with a paso doble to the tune of the theme from all the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns like For a Few Dollars More. Then the dudes take off their shirts and dance to...oh, it's so familiar. What is this the theme to? I can't place it. Something military. [ The theme song to The Great Escape - RS.] Then the Star Wars theme starts and the men take out light sabers. No, not their ding-dongs. Actual light sabers. And the lights go down, and there is a battle. It's quite silly. How do they do this with a straight face? What's weird is that, at the very end, one of the couples from the troupe leaves the floor before the final note even ends and runs up the stairs. Did something happen? That was weird.
Chynna and Tony are up first this week with the tango. Chynna really struggles during rehearsals, with Tony having to repeat instructions multiple times and getting frustrated with her. Chynna admits that she's so anxious to get the routine down that she gets in the way of Tony's teaching. I don't know. Tony seems like a ****.
Tom is nearly swallowed by fog while he introduces Tony and Chynna, and also explains that each couple will have a little extra time to do a skit or something related to the movie that their music comes from. In this case, that means that Tony is lowered from the ceiling like Tom Cruise in the first Mission Impossible film. They maybe should have extended that part because once they start dancing, it all goes to hell. Chynna acts like she doesn't know ANY of the steps. She's constantly on the wrong foot, or using the wrong arm, or facing the wrong way. I mean, it seriously looks like she's never done this routine before. Her frame and posture are good but there's hardly any tango because Chynna forgot all of the steps. Tony tries to help her out; you can see him murmuring to her and trying to guide her by grabbing her arm, but it's bad. I don't know what was supposed to happen in the end, but the cameraman ends up focusing on a shot of Tony's back. Maybe Chynna was supposed to slide through his legs or something? She finishes by posing on the judges' table. Dude. That was hard to watch.
Chynna is clearly tearing up while waiting to hear from the judges and Tom, being a pro, babbles some nonsense to give her a minute to collect herself. Len starts out by also babbling some nonsense but then says that Chynna knows that she made mistakes, and he's sure it would have been lovely if she hadn't panicked. She knows. Bruno says that she was hot, but she "lost the plot." Bruno adds that what she did was beautiful and he hopes that she returns so they can see her dance again. Carrie Ann loved that she kept her composure and kept her head high. Carrie Ann reminds Chynna that this is supposed to be fun and she shouldn't take it so seriously. I do think Chynna has issues with anxiety. Didn't she go to rehab for anxiety, a thing I've never heard of? Ooh, and Tony is hurt as he limps to the back. Tom tries to get Brooke to ask him about it but she botches it because she's too busy bringing up the time that she (Brooke) did a similar thing. Is Tony okay? Could someone ask him? Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 7 and Bruno 7. Overscored. I mean, what was that score for? Also, Brooke finally heard the producer frantically yelling in her ear and asks Tony what the deal is. Tony hurt his ankle in dress rehearsal but says he's fine.
David and Kym are the second couple to dance, and they have the paso doble. They will be dancing to the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kym thinks that, being an actor, David will be able to get into character well. That's all great, but David says that his brain doesn't work right and he can't tell left from right, and that causes obvious problems with dancing. I have a theory that probably half of all addicts have some form of mental illness that could be helped with medication, but they either don't want to take medication or don't get the diagnosis, and they self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Like David seems really scattered and like he has trouble focusing, and I wonder if he drank because it slowed everything down for him and made his thoughts more manageable. I'm probably not the first person to come up with this, but the more addicts (mostly former addicts) I meet, the more it makes sense to me. Not to discount genetic propensity to addiction, which I know is huge. Wait, why am I talking about this? Let's watch the routine.
Wow. That was really good. Way better than I anticipated. David swung onto the floor from the second level and then cracked a whip and that was their "skit" -- short but sweet. The actual paso was really good. The only downside was David's hands were stiff and pancaked throughout. But his arms and posture were strong. He muddled a little in the middle, but his jumps were amazing and he seemed confident and powerful, which is what you need for the paso, attitude-wise. The crowd loved it. Bruno talks about David's "tight muscles and tight pants," and reminds him to work on his turns. Carrie Ann thinks David has been catapulted to a new level, mostly due to his attitude. Len liked the beginning and the attitude, but he didn't think the form was good. The other judges start arguing with him over whether or not David had tight buttocks and it's a disaster so David and Kym just leave. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 7 and Bruno 8. That's a fair score. His form wasn't perfect but it was way better than anything else he's done so far.
Another filler dance with Val and the troupe. The producers love Val. The routine starts with three couples dancing together, and seriously, the tallest dude form the troupe is not good. I noticed it last week and it holds up this week. His feet are terrible. Then Val comes out and gets a solo with one of the ladies. It's fine. Bring on the actual contestants now? Please?
Carson and Anna will be dancing to a song from Pirates of the Caribbean, doing the Viennese waltz. Carson jokes that pirates are guys running around in tight pants with open shirts, looking for jewelry, so it's in his wheelhouse. The studio audience loves it when Carson makes jokes about how gay he is or how much he's crushing on hot gents. Like, they guffaw. I mean, Carson is funny but let's not get crazy here, studio audience. Anyway, they bring in a hot stuntman to teach them how to do sword fighting. Not sure how that fits with the waltz, but can't wait to find out!
I'm not exactly sure what I'm watching. They start with a really long instrumental where they...don't do anything. And then there's a fairly short swordfight before the waltzing begins. The parts where they are in hold are better than I anticipated. The parts where they aren't in hold are these pirate-y type moves and Carson is usually a beat behind Anna. The whole time, I'm just nervous that one of them is going to trip over the sword that Anna had to drop in the opening. It's fun. It's entertaining. There just wasn't much content. And yet, I want to see what he'll do next week. I'm torn. Judges? Carrie Ann says it was his most butch performance, and like me, she's torn because she loves to watch him, but his technique is terrible. Len says it was like childbirth: "terrible while it's happening, enjoy it when it's over." Carson is like, "Yeah! Wait..." Len lists off all the things that were wrong with it, but adds that it was great fun. Bruno says that it was bonkers, and no one cares, because it was great fun. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 6, and Bruno 7. The judges are nutso tonight. There was no waltz to score! Although if Chynna got straight sevens, I guess that score is fair for Carson.
Tristan and Nancy have the paso doble this week, and Tristan tells her that she needs to bring the attitude from her show to the dance this week. She keeps calling it the "passé doble." This could be scary.
Well, she's got the attitude down, although she seems to mistake angry for aggressive. There's a difference. Her posture is terrible and she keeps making fists which doesn't seem right, right? You don't make fists in any of the dance routines on this show. I can't see her feet due to her dress; maybe that was on purpose. She looks a little unsure at times. Overall, it's okay. It's not terrible, at least not until she totally botches the ending. I think she was supposed to do a split, but her shoe caught on her dress so she just popped up and started clapping for herself? She's a weirdo. I can't wait to see Tristan dance with someone else next season. God knows he's paid his dues. Judges? Len says it wasn't exciting and lacked expression. Bruno urges her to become a ball breaker and go for it. Carrie Ann wants to give Nancy more credit because she's old (no, she said that) but she wants Nancy to connect more to the audience. That's a good point. She only looks at Tristan. I think she's under rehearsed, so she needs to look at Tristan so she doesn't screw up. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 7 and Bruno 7.
Hope went for sexy last week. I thought she missed the mark, but others disagreed. They have the foxtrot this week to "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story. We get the segment it seems like we get every season with each couple at some point (although always with Maks, right) where the star gets frustrated and the pro gets frustrated and they butt heads. In this case, if Hope can't get a step, she wants to keep working on it until she does get it. Maks feels like if it's not working, just move on and come back to it later. I can see both approaches. I feel like they have limited time together, so should probably take Maks's more holistic approach during rehearsal, and then Hope can practice the steps on her own time. See, I compromised! Why don't they? They probably do, but that wouldn't make for drama for the show.
You know what? I really liked that routine. Hope wasn't trying to be glamorous or sexy. She was trying to be Jessie from the movies, and Maks was Woody, and they were cute! And not overly cute in a gross way. Hope did well taking long steps, and Maks matched her, and it was the most graceful I think we've seen her this whole season. She needs to work on being more precise about her foot placement; there were a few times where she took a step and then had to move her foot into the correct spot. But it was enjoyable to watch, when I feel like most of her routines this season have been kind of awkward. Judges? Bruno thought they were nice together. Carrie Ann smiled the whole way through, and it was refreshing and fluid. Len says that he gets frustrated, and he'll tell them why. Tom interjects, "Age?" Everyone cracks up. Len is serious though, and then he just starts yelling at Hope and telling her that she's not rehearsing enough, I guess? And that Maks needs to be nicer? And they need to bond as a team? I am seriously not sure what he's going on about. But I think he wants them to be more of a team, because he thinks that Hope could be a contender. Nothing about how this particular routine went. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8 and Bruno 8. I thought it might even be higher, but that's the highest score of the night so far.
Cheryl and Rob have the paso doble and will be dancing to the Superman theme. Didn't Cameron Mathison already do this exact dance to this exact song? Anyway, Rob wants us to know that he's taking this seriously and he doesn't want people to think he's the loser brother in a famous family. Cheryl thinks he's turned over a new leaf. Okay. Can we just see some dancing now instead of a therapy session? So the camera angles are pissing me off because they keep showing him from the waist up and I want to see his feet. When they finally do show the full body shot, I can see that his feet are just awful. He doesn't do too poorly with the posture and the arms and hands, but his jump and his turns are...kind of feminine? And not in a good, dancing way, but more in a six-year-old girl in ballet class way? Sort of awkward and unsure. Cheryl put a ton of content in, and there was more traditional paso than in the other routines we've seen tonight. But it's hard for me to not compare it to Cameron's routine, which I really liked. This one, not so much.
Judges? Carrie Ann thinks that he took it up a notch this week. Len wanted it to be more fierce, but he did like the routine. Bruno thinks that Rob has the ability and moves well, but he needs to be more confident and assertive with his movements. Bruno has a good point. Rob's arms were just kind of there and he didn't start the movement with his entire body. Okay, I know I usually skip Brooke's questions because they are stupid, but she just asked the rudest question: "Rob, have you ever worked at anything this hard ever?" In other words, "Rob, are you a lazy, shiftless idiot?" Rob reminds her that he did graduate from college, and he worked hard there, but acknowledges that this is different. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8 and Bruno 8. A lot of parity in the scoring tonight.
Ricki got high scores for her rumba last week. Too high if you ask me. This week, they have the tango to Psycho. That seems REALLY hard to dance to, and Derek says as much. As they rehearse, Ricki doesn't get it right away and she gets frustrated and shuts down, and even talks about quitting. So will she be able to pull it together for their routine?
I would say yes. I think this is Ricki's best dance to date. Her posture and head position are perfect. She does seem a little muddled on the footwork, and her character is a little confusing. I think Derek is supposed to be the psycho and she's supposed to be the victim? But you wouldn't know that until the very end of the dance, when they go behind a screen and Derek stabs her in the stomach (should have done the chest) and she falls to the ground. That ending shocks the judges, or maybe they were shocked at how good the dancing was? It was good dancing. It wasn't 10-worthy, but the technique was great. The studio audience goes nuts. Judges? Len thinks that she always delivers, and his only critique is that Ricki needs to remember her neck. Bruno thought it was an "immaculate tribute" to Hitchcock. Carrie Ann thought it was brilliant. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 9 and Bruno 10. That may be about one point too high, but it's all academic. It's awfully early for Ricki to be getting these scores, though. Where does she have to go?
Chaz and Lacey were at the bottom of the leaderboard last week (or the top of the loserboard, depending on how you want to look at it), but they made it through thanks to fan votes. This week, they have the theme from Rocky and they're doing the paso doble. Lacey takes Chaz to see Richard Simmons to work on his endurance and joint issues. Richard Simmons is not looking good, y'all. He may be suffering from something. He definitely needs to shave his head. That trademark 'fro is looking like dandelion fuzz.
So how does the actual dancing go? Chaz comes out wearing boxing gloves and a red silk short robe. And then they kind of dance? It's not much of a paso. You know, I just realized something. Chaz and Carson (and maybe David) are almost on a different show than the rest of the stars. They're on the first season of this show, where the caliber of dancing wasn't that great, but you got involved with the personal stories and rooted for underdogs to succeed. And then somewhere about when Derek showed up, the stars started getting better, to the point where it was sometimes difficult to tell that they weren't actually pros. And honestly, that show isn't as fun to watch. It's not as fun to see a Kristi Yamaguchi or a Jennifer Grey or a Nicole Scherzinger win this show, because it felt like it came easy to them. It's much more fun to see a Carson or a Chaz go out there and pour his heart and soul into a routine, and give some effort towards technique, but it's really about the effort and the attitude. That all said, that routine was awful.
Judges? Bruno likes that Chaz keeps coming back and fighting and getting stronger. Carrie Ann is crying, because she just roots for Chaz and his courage. Len acknowledges that it wasn't great, but it was Chaz's best performance to date, which is a backhanded compliment if I've ever heard one. Hey, Cher's in the audience. I am also impressed that Chaz is running up the stairs after his knees fell out last week. Or whatever happened. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 7 and Bruno 7. Way overscored. Come on.
JR and Karina have the final spot of the night, and they have the foxtrot. Like everyone else, Karina and JR are having some communication problems. Karina brings a male professional in to show JR how to do it. See? I think everyone should do this. It's tough for a woman to show a man how to stand and move, and vice versa. Anyway, they're dancing to the theme from The Pink Panther. When I was in elementary school, if we were good in music class, the music teacher would play this for us as we lined up to walk out the door, and we would all try to sneak around like the Pink Panther. How hilarious it must have been for her to watch a bunch of second graders creeping around like that.
I have to say, the foxtrot is a pretty boring dance. I mean, it doesn't even come close to the drama of a paso doble or even the lyricism of a waltz. It's almost like the producers don't want these two to do well. But Karina did a great job with the choreography, matching it up with Mancini's fantastic theme. JR does a good job, although his frame could be better at times. It wasn't the knockout punch I was hoping for, but it was good.
Judges? Carrie Ann thought it was okay, and while his technique is good, she thought the performance fell a little flat. Len is frustrated with his fellow judges, because he thought JR was the best male dancer of the night. Bruno thinks JR has great versatility and ability. Well, that gives him something to work on, except it doesn't. So he gets a 10, right? I feel like if the judges can't find anything to critique, then the dancer gets a 10. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 9 and Bruno 9. I don't get that at all.
So who will go home this week. Gosh, I don't know. Maybe Nancy? Or David? It seems like Carson and Chaz both have big fanbases to keep them around despite low scores. We'll find out tomorrow night. Here is your leaderboard:
Ricki and Derek: 29
JR and Karina: 26
Hope and Maks: 24
Rob and Cheryl: 24
David and Kym: 23
Chynna and Tony: 21
Nancy and Tristan: 21
Chaz and Lacey: 21
Carson and Anna: 20