This week, the “creative director” role falls onto the already overburdened shoulders of the celebrities, who are already having a hard time doing things like moving in synch to music, wearing silly dance shoes and getting used to mesh panels in places where they may not really want mesh panels. Really, I’m hoping this creative director thing is just a chance for them to say stuff like, “Please God, don’t make me wear spangles and booty shorts this week” or “I don’t want to pretend I’m a super hero/lame movie character/furry.”
But wait! The producers couldn’t possibly let the celebrities have too much control! That’s what leads to vanity projects and horrible children’s books! So, they have complete control… to the extent they get to re-do an iconic dance from the show. So, um, maybe they can suggest some arm flapping and a favorite color.
In other news? Bristol Palin apparently lost her damn mind and cried like her dance partner Mark Ballas had dumped her. She doesn’t feel supported and encouraged and whatever. Can’t she use some of that reality TV money for therapy? Or to bribe the camera guy to lose some footage? Seriously.
Drew & Anna
The Background: It’s a cha-cha! And Drew is going to bring the sexy. I think he’s realized it worked last week, so he wants to amp up his boy band sex appeal — and Anna will be bringing the sexy, too.
The Dance: I like this — it’s not what we expect from Drew, and that’s what works. He looks confident and it’s a strong performance.
The Judges: Len thinks his arms were a little wonky, but he loved it. Bruno thought he was a power drill. Carrie Ann thought it was tight and precise.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 8, Bruno – 8
Gilles & Peta
The Background: Gilles doesn’t want to repaint a Picasso. He doesn’t like the idea of taking someone else’s dance and redoing it, either. He reluctantly chooses Erin and Maks’ tango so that he doesn’t have to insult someone who’s already on the show. Oh, and he wants to fly.
The Dance: It’s sexy and fiery and very, very Gilles.
The Judges: Bruno thinks it was 50 shades of Gilles, but he lost his footing a few times. Honestly, I hardly noticed he was emoting so much. Carrie Ann wishes Peter Pan was as hot, but she agrees that he messed up a few times. Len thought his hold could have been tighter, but he loved the menace.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8.5, Len – 8.5, Bruno – 8.5
Melissa & Tony
The Background: She wants the audience to say, how did they do that? This means Tony flipping her over from a crouched position. Or not. She wants to challenge herself, which probably means an injury.
The Dance: At one point, I think Tony is going to kick Melissa’s head across the theater, which I’m sure was not the intent. But it’s sexy, it looks very professional and she nails it, I think.
The Judges: Carrie Ann thought it was a fantastic samba. Len also thought it was refreshing and satisfying. Lotta love here. Bruno thinks she’s a samba sensation.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Highest score of the season!
Apolo & Karina
The Background: They’re going to do Gilles’ iconic foxtrot, so all that stuff about Gilles’ not wanting to repaint a Picasso? Yeah, well, tell that to Apolo. He doesn’t want to show his man boobs, but he wants to capture Gilles’ sexiness. Um, not possible.
The Dance: Yeah, still not possible. It’s very good, but trying to outsexy a hot French guy is really not a wise decision.
The Judges: Len wished the feet had been a little cleaner, but it was terrific. Bruno thought it was classy and classic, but the hands were tense. Carrie Ann thinks it will be one of the dances we never forget. Really?
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 8.5
Kelly & Val
The Background: She had the week off from her soap gig on “General Hospital,” so she wants to dance big and practice more. And she also decides Maks and Laila’s paso doble, just so Val is driven to outshine his brother.
The Dance: I find myself forgetting Kelly is on this show, then find myself rooting for her. This is intense and fiery and… you know, Val may have topped his brother this time around.
The Judges: Bruno is tingling with pleasure. Carrie Ann thinks they’re the couple to watch. Len thinks they had remarkable focus and her arms were as expressive as her face.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. They tied the top of the leader board!
Reminder – double elimination tomorrow night. Eeek!
Paula Abdul is going to guest judge “Dancing with the Stars” next week? You know, of any of the shows she’s judged, this makes the most sense. She started as a cheerleader, then a choreographer,
Kirstie & Maks
The Background: She’s doing Carson Kressley’s “Move Like Jagger” cha-cha. She also wants to show sideboob, she wants Maks in really tight pants, and she wants an Mini Cooper on the stage.
The Dance: Has she gained weight since the season began? I’m not kidding, she looks heavier. This is cute and really fun, though. I feel like Kirstie has the moves but she’s a little sluggish. And oh my God, she has Maks in a Billy Squier wig, and for that she should get extra points.
The Judges: Carrie Ann thought the cha cha is her best dance, and this was her best dance of the season. Len liked the timing and the foot placement. Bruno thinks she’s fully loaded with fun.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 8, Bruno – 8
Sabrina & Louis
The Background: They’ll be boring a dance from Melanie & Maks, and she wants to wear purple. She can’t break the rules, she can’t! She’s terrified she’ll be eliminated! It’s a reality competition, Sabrina — they don’t actually kill you or anything.
The Dance: Fierce ending, very well done, but not exactly wow. She looks like a pro, though.
The Judges: Len thought it was full of great technique and the twist turns were beautiful. Bruno thought it had a touch of Scary Spice. Carrie Ann did not love it, though.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8.5, Len – 8.5, Bruno – 8.5… So, Carrie Ann felt very differently about the dance than her fellow judges — and they all give it the same score. Okay.
Emmit & Cheryl
The Background: They’ll be doing a paso doble that Karina and Mario made “iconic.” Emmit wants to give it an old desert feel and he wants to charge at Cheryl and slide between her legs, which seems to scare the crap out of her.
The Dance: This is pretty fun! And Emmit does manage to do the slide without killing Cheryl, which is impressive all on its own.
The Judges: Bruno thinks the raging bull is back! But he has to watch his shoulders. Carrie Ann liked it, and Len thinks he may have been so caught up in the moment he lost some finesse.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8.5, Len – 8, Bruno – 8.5
Helio & Chelsie
The Background: He found being in the bottom two last week sad and scary. Scary? I think this must be a lost-in-translation issue. Anyway, he says he wants to do Apolo & Julianne’s pin-striped suit dance, which is a quick step. I think. I can’t always understand what he’s saying. Apolo pops by to tell him how honored he is — and how he’ll have to do a better job than he did to score 10s this season.
The Dance: Helio gets caught in Chelsie’s dress, she falls, and what started out extremely well sort of hits the skids. This is a little depressing, but it’s really very good except for the falling and the tripping part.
The Judges: Carrie Ann fells bad about the dress, but thought they were great. Len wants him to come back next week, and so does Bruno. I think they’re going to give him scores with the goal of keeping him out of the bottom two, which, unfortunately, I totally get. He is better than some of the dancers who need to go home in tomorrow night’s double elimination (cough, cough, Kristie, cough, Bristol).
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8.5, Len – 8.5, Bruno – 8.5
Bristol & Mark
The Background: So, it’s the big fight! She knows he’s bummed he doesn’t have Sabrina or Shawn as a partner. She just gets a weird, oh-dang-you-got-paired-up-with-Bristol vibe. Mark tells her he’s only gotten those girls twice, and he’s had lots of partners. He’s hurt that she feels like he wants to go home. He rubs her leg and asks her to not be like that. THEN, she storms out of the practice space. Oh, come ON. You’re not dating; you’re working together! Bristol is acting like she’s 12.
The Dance: They’re chess pieces, which is an excellent choice, because it makes her wooden quality seem entirely appropriate.
The Judges: Len thought they had attack and aggression and it’s easily her best dance thus far. Bruno thinks the same. Carrie Ann thought her movements were nice and fine and clean. It’s faint praise, of course, because the subtext is, “It’s good for you, but compared to everyone else you still suck eggs.”
Tomorrow night, the celebrities will be picking dances for each other, by the way. And strategy will be important. This should be fun. Or mean. Or mean AND fun.
Brooke talks to Mark and Bristol. Bristol’s glad they got their first fight out of the way. Yes, that’s a happier spin. In fact, Mark thinks it’s a good thing it’s taken them this long to fight. Because everyone has tearful meltdowns just like this! About things that are not really relevant to the dance they’re working on!
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7.5, Len – 7.5, Bruno – 7.5 Their highest score of the season — and the lowest score of the evening.
Shawn & Derek
The Background: They choose Helio’s quickstep. She wants trampolines. Derek tells Shawn they’re going to get slammed for breaking the rules and not squeezing in enough of the quick step. But Shawn doesn’t care. She wants to give Len something he’s never seen before. Trampolines? Yeah, betting he hasn’t seen that in a dance routine before.
The Dance: This is so, so fun! They really do use the trampolines — and Derek can spring, too! This is fast, but controlled, and so perky. Plus, she throws herself OFF THE STAIRS. This may be breaking the rules, but I wish everyone broke the rules like this.
The Judges: Bruno says they broke the rules, but it was unforgettable. Carrie Ann knocks them for breaking the rules, but they blew her mind. Len thinks it was incredible and tells Derek he’s never enjoyed a routine more, but he will have to dock them points. But I’m pretty sure voters will save them.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 8, Bruno – 9.5
Kelly & Val are at the top along with Melissa & Tony, while Big Baby Bristol is at the bottom. Waaaah. I’m so over her it’s not even funny. It was fine when she was just a crappy dancer but not entirely annoying, but I think she’s crossed that bar altogether.
What did you think of the big fight? What’s your feeling about Paula Abdul as a guest judge? Who do you think should go home in the double elimination?