'Greatest American Dog': Are dogs allowed on the Hot Tamale Train?

Bill_star_gad_240This week is all about coordination on Greatest American Dog, and I'm not talking about coordinating your dog's tiny little sweater with his tiny little socks. SIGH. It's also becoming pretty apparent which dogs will be the last two standing, which makes the next few weeks seem a bit (more) pointless. (Spoilers ahead...)

We begin with what might be the saddest party I've ever seen, in the Dog Bone Suite. It's derailed by Brandy, who whines that Beacon's mad at her. The other owners claim that Beacon's only a dog and can't hold a grudge, but that's before they see Beacon's pajamas, which include little slippers taped to her feet. If anything could raise a dog's mental state up to the level of grudge-holding (which, it should be noted, I do believe they're capable of), it's a ridiculous outfit like that.

Dog Bone Challenge: "Mud Dog," in which the owners must guide dogs over a balance beam without the dogs falling into the muddy pit below. The winner gets a leg up in the elimination challenge this time around, with no one landing in the Dog House. Brandy is visibly horrified when Beacon hops into the mud. Heh. Star makes it across in 16 seconds, and I'm not ashamed to say that I almost tear up when I see Bill's proud, joyful reaction. Leroy is the only other dog to make it across, and wins the dog bone suite with a time of 5.5 seconds. Teresa manages to redeem herself a little from last week's awfulness by giving Bill the Dog Bone Suite (and the extra advantage) so that he can see pictures of his family. Aww.

Brandy and Beacon engage in a battle of wills, with Beacon refusing to sit for her. Ruh-roh. The other owners have lots of opinions about what's wrong (sore butt, ha), but I'm pretty sure she's pissed about the outfits.

Best in Show Challenge: "Dancing with the Dogs." Fair enough...I guess "So You Think Your Dog Can Dance" is a bit more cumbersome. Bill and Star's leg up (which would've been Teresa's) is the benefit of a professional choreographer's help. They'll each be performing a one-minute themed dance routine as a pair with their dog. Okay, I guess I'll hold judgment until I see the execution, but it sounds painful.

Laurie/Andrew: Ragtime. Andrew mostly just runs around and sits while Laurie dances, but it's still adorable, and probably much harder than it looks. Andrew's vest manages to toe the line of acceptable dog clothing without making me want to vomit. The judges like it.

Laura_preston_gad_240Laura/Preston: Latin. Laura manages to give Preston commands in Spanish, which is cute, if only sometimes effective. He's not very obedient, and the judges hate the performance. They think Laura and Preston were both out of their comfort zones.

Bill/Star: Rockabilly. Watching Bill with the choreographer is perhaps one of the highlights of the show thus far. Until, that is, we see Bill in his outfit! There's a wig, a pair of glasses, and a studded suit. Amazing. He's fantastic, and so is Star, who even runs up to greet the judges when they applaud at the end. Love this pair! They're both clearly having tons of fun, which the judges recognize.

Travis/Presley: Country. Presley looks almost as adorable in his bandana as Travis looks in his country outfit. (Watch out, Laura, I'm totally going to steal him away from you!) Unfortunately, Presley seems a bit bored during the performance, and he's not alone. The judges are disappointed that they didn't see anything new, and that the focus was on Travis instead of Presley. Though he was a super cute country dancer.

Brandy/Beacon: Classical ballet. Beacon is officially on strike during rehearsal time, and Brandy is having a nervous breakdown. After she calms down, Beacon relaxes and responds to her again. Beacon seems checked out in the performance and Brandy has to work way too hard, grabbing Beacon's paws at one point to dance with her. The judges think that Brandy overtrained Beacon, shutting her down. And they hate the ballet slippers. AGREED.

Teresa/Leroy: Disco. Bill pays Teresa back in part by pointing out that her overly excited voice is making Leroy bark. The barking isn't under control during the performance at ALL, which really takes away from the whole thing, even though the choreography is good. Teresa hushing him and snapping at him a couple times is also pretty poor--she's clearly stressed out. The judges notice, and aren't pleased.

Jd_galaxy_gad_240 J.D./Galaxy: Hip hop. It seems that in the 80's, J.D. was quite the break dancing Michael Jackson impersonator. Yep. He refers to himself as "Dr. Pop." And OMG, he IS Dr. Pop! And for someone so comfortable with dance, he manages not to steal the show too much from Galaxy. Very creative and clever moves. The judges are surprised and pleased.

Beth Joy/Bella Starlet: Broadway. Bella's dress goes way over the line of acceptable for me, but the dance isn't too bad. Bella doesn't seem totally on top of some of the choreography, but with more rehearsal it probably would've been fine. At one point Beth Joy grabs Bella's paws and dances around, which is pretty ridiculous (but not as ridiculous as when she's all "Thank you, thank you!" at the end, even though no one's clapping). The judges like Beth Joy's enthusiasm, but don't think it went as well as it could have.

The judges single Laurie and Andrew out as the best, which surprises me at first. I thought their routine was really cute, but not at the level of J.D.'s or Bill's. It sounded like the judges gave her a bit of extra credit since Andrew is a Maltese, which seems fair. It really is impressive that she got his teeny little legs moving so fast. Laura and Preston, Brandy and Beacon, and Travis and Presley are in the bottom three. In the least surprising elimination ever, on any TV show, of all time, Brandy and Beacon are eliminated. Finally. Brandy has a good attitude about it, which is nice to see, but not as nice as the fact that we don't have to listen to her whine next week.

Are Star and Galaxy a lock for the final two, or do you see any other dogs beating them out? Did this episode convince you that the next Dancing with the Stars should feature a celebrity dog? (I vote for the pug from Men in Black.)