'Dancing with the Stars' week 5 live blog: Extra pros dance
Although some networks (most notably NBC) have pre-empted some scheduled TV, ABC decided to air its live "DWTS." Viewers probably need a break from coverage of the Boston Marathon explosions earlier in the day. Before there was any dancing, however, Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet addressed the news. Barring major updates, it should all be dancing from here on.
In a cool intro, the stars and pros all entered the stage as part of a group dance. Nice variation on the stairs there.
Which "DWTS" pros are coming back for what the show is terming "Len's Side-by-Side Challenge"? Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower and Tristan MacManus are all expected to dance.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson (with Tony and Emma Slater) -- cha-cha
This is a very complicated concept, these side-by-side dances. As near as I can tell, a professional couple dances first. Then the celebrity/pro couple copies them. Finally, the normal couple does its own dance.
Ingo and Kym actually do pretty well with this, even if Ingo had to imitate Tony Dovolani. The whole dance was good, if not WOW! levels of stunning.
Len: "I thought you kept up with the stamina and energy all the way through."
Bruno: "Lady Marmalade got you in a bit of a jam."
Carrie Ann: "I saw no intimidation on your face... But you have to work on below the belt."
Scores: 7+7+7 = 21
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff (with Maks and Anna) -- jive
Someone forgot to turn on the lights at the beginning of this dance. But that's just the pros, so it's okay.
It's pretty obvious that Jacoby and Maks aren't doing identical moves in the side-by-side part. But that's just fine. Jacoby looks good. And then he takes off his shirt. And does splits. And leaps over Karina's head. I think this fellow might do just fine on votes this week.
Bruno: "It was like watching two stallions at the peak of their power, fighting for supremacy!"
Carrie Ann: "A little bit flat-footed, a little bit turned-in. But I like some Jacoby!"
Len: "Your personality radiates throughout this ballroom ... You'll never get a 9 from me with those feet."
Scores: 9+8+9 = 26
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold (with Tristan and Emma) -- Viennese waltz
This kind of looks like a hall of mirrors on the stage. Weird.
It's an interesting choice to have drastically different-colored dresses. But it might work -- seeing what the men did was easier to compare that way. Victor looks pretty good in this one for the most part. It's much better than last week anyway.
Carrie Ann: "Victor, I say that was a victory."
Len: "This is better than last week, and that's the way to go."
Bruno: "You had a wonderful pert stance, you were erect ..."
Scores: 7+7+7 = 21
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas (with Tony and Witney Carson) -- samba
Aly and Witney are both such cute girly-girls that I almost expected them to have a slumber party at the end of the package!
Aly definitely has the technique down for the dancing -- much better than many. Unfortunately, she looks a little wooden next to Witney. This is the possible problem with this theme. If I just watched Aly and Mark, I wouldn't have much criticism. Seeing Aly right next to a pro, however, highlights her not being one. It's less enjoyable.
Len: "Your bottom is the tops."
Bruno: "You had very strong technique ... You have a lovely, effortless, carefree attitude."
Carrie Ann: "I liked seeing you bring out your little sex kitten."
Scores: 8+8+9 = 25
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd (with Tristan and Chelsie) -- quickstep
They're dancing on a box. That's always tough. Also, Sean has something stuck to his back. I'm going to guess it's not a "kick me" sign. And nope ... It's a number, like he's in a dance competition.
Sean isn't the greatest dancer here. He's charming and stuff, but he looks like he's barely muddling through some of the steps. Also, the goofy smile is back. A good performance but not the best ever. What do I know?
Bruno: "You've always been a bit of a lumberjack ... tonight you turned into a swan!"
Carrie Ann: "You're back, my friend."
Len: "Last week a statue, this week a pigeon!" "I think he's more like a pigeon than a swan."
Scores: 8+8+8 = 24
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough (with Henry Bialikoff and Anna) -- foxtrot
There's a piano guy out there. It's just like on "Glee"! Only it makes a little more sense here.
As for the dance, this would be another time when we see that Kellie can actually dance. She can also do an excellent penguin waddle. And toss a hat. This really is a lot more fun than your average foxtrot. The whole thing is like a romantic comedy!
Carrie Ann: "That was fabulous! You are a million-dollar dancer."
Len: "That wasn't a foxtrot, that was a hot-trot."
Bruno: " Baz Luhrmann would use this!"
You know, I was totally thinking there was some "Strictly Ballroom"-esque choreography in there. That's usually because I'm obsessed with that movie, but it might be real this time.
Scores: 9+9+9 = 27
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke (with Sasha Farber and Chelsie) -- tango
Ooh! Shadow dancing!
D.L. has a new sort of entrance, cutting in and dancing a bit with the other couple before starting his dance with Cheryl. Surprisingly, the side-by-side dances look pretty good. The comedian's steps don't seem quite sharp enough on his own, but he's not messing up. This seems like a pretty good dance.
Len: "It was like a decaf coffee ... You got through it okay."
Bruno: "I think you went for the aggression and disdain."
Carrie Ann: "You were a little bouncy -- the tango is very smooth."
Scores: 6+6+6 = 18
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy (with Maks and Anna) -- Argentine tango
Zendaya is just a really, really good dancer. She may be young, but even that somehow seems to help the performance. Almost like it's the story of a too-young girl trying to be a grown-up in a world that is far too dark and adult for her. She just doesn't know it yet.
The story ends badly. But the dance is awesome!
Bruno: "Next to Anna, you were as good and as strong."
Carrie Ann: "Every move you do has a story."
Len: "It was like a lemon tart -- sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty down below."
Scores: 10+9+10 = 29
And we have our first 10s of the season!
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess (with Sasha and Emma) -- paso doble
Zorro. That is all.
Sasha and Emma are very good at this. I wouldn't want to zipline into that. Andy is slower than the pros (shocker there, I know), but he's doing a passable job at the dance he is doing. Again, this is a case of the pro dancers making the celebrities not look as good as we'd otherwise think they were.
There is also a lot of cape twirling here. Like, a whole lot.
Carrie Ann: "That entrance will never be forgotten, ever! That was the best entrance I've ever seen!"
Len: "It wasn't quite Hollywood. It was nearby. It was more Pasadena than paso doble."
Bruno: "The only thing missing was Cloris Leachman, I tell you."
Scores: 6+6+6 = 18
Better than Cloris Leachman anyway.
Tomorrow night, someone goes. And then Monday, there's a whole lot of Stevie Wonder coming!