Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Frantic Jives and Raunchy Rumbas

Here we go again folks! LIVE! From Hollywood! It’s Dancing With the Stars! It’s Jive and Rumba week. How will our stars fare tonight? Let’s find out!

Melissa & Tony begin the evening with the Rumba. It’s a sexy, romantic dance and while the steps are "coming together easier than the Paso Doble" per Melissa, she’s having problems getting into the romantic character of the dance. Tony tells her to imagine there’s a 10-carat diamond on her finger ... woops, there was a diamond on that finger at one point! Melissa looks at Tony and says "you mean on this empty finger?" Tony looked very sheepish, realizing she was engaged to The Bachelor and then un-engaged, and said "sorry, I guess that was the wrong analogy." Sweet, sappy Tony also told Melissa "your beauty is coming through you like a beam." I sure hope Tony’s wife gets some of that talk too! I liked their dance and I loved Tony’s choreography. That split move was really great (if you don’t have a DVR or TiVo to watch it again, catch it on the ABC website. It’s worth another look!) Len liked it too, saying it was clean and precise with great choreography. Bruno liked that it was so exotic - "your body can assume the most incredible shapes." Carrie Ann loved the emotional quality of the dance, saying that it was believable romance. "But how do you get romantic dancing with such a goofball?" Great scores: 9-9-9=27.

Lil’ Kim & Derek will dance a Jive. At rehearsal they talk about how different they are but how they’ve clicked in this competition. Kim thinks "we’re so different, we make each other better." She’s having problems with the concept so Derek takes her (in a beautiful 50's-era red convertible) to a 50's diner where classic cars are everywhere. They danced to Jailhouse Rock and Derek took the theme all the way - he was a "prisoner" and Kim a cop. It was very, very perky and really tough choreography if you ask me! I was pretty proud of Kim keeping up (although I saw a couple of little screw-ups, I’m surprised there weren’t more!) Bruno went bonkers, saying "I’m guilty! Arrest me!" and offering his wrists to be handcuffed. Carrie Ann gave her signature stand up whoop and in the process her diamond bracelet went flying. She complimented the "pizzazz." Len, the ever-present stick in the mud, said it was fun and full of energy, but they got carried away with the story of Jailhouse Rock and it was too theatrical, not enough Jive. The scores were predictable from the comments: 10-8-10=28.

Steve-O & Lacey will dance the Rumba. Can Steve look romantic or will he end up looking constipated? After stating that he "doesn’t even feel comfortable talking to Lacey about romance" because of their brother-sister relationship, he essentially kills any and all hope of conjuring some up by farting through rehearsal. His dog comes to rehearsal and he rolls around on the floor loving up the pooch, and Lacey tells him, "The passion that you have with your dog right now? That's exactly what you need with your rumba.'' That makes me really uncomfortable. He has to take his dog-love as an example? I’m sure PETA will be all over them soon! Anyway, you could see the improvement in Steve-O’s dancing - his arms and hands were looking really "flowing" although I noticed he seemed to stomp when he moved. The judges were gentler this week, at least. Carrie Ann called it "oddly mesmerizing" and said people like Steve-O because he works so hard and has commitment. Len told him "you can’t confuse movement with dancing" and that he had no hip action. Bruno said he had the "charm of a confused puppy" and his dancing was bad - "Thank goodness for Racey Lacey!" (who was wearing a really cute lingerie set of shorts, bra and short cover up in a soft turquoise, very nice for night-night but I don’t know about a dance floor outfit!) Honestly, I didn’t think their dance deserved such lousy scores from Len and Bruno: 7-4-5=16.

Ty & Chelsie bring us their version of the Jive. Ty really needs to loosen up, so Chelsie brings a mini-trampoline and a hula hoop to the studio. Ty really gets that hula hoop going, too! I thought Ty looked great at the beginning of the dance when he leap-frogged over Chelsie, who was standing straight up and Ty didn’t jump off the stage but from the floor! The dance seemed a little disjointed at the beginning but warmed up as it went along. All the judges like Ty a lot, (as I imagine the audience does, he really is a nice guy!) but it’s getting to the point where the dancing is more important, and Ty is finding that out. Len told him he looked bewildered - "What am I doing here?" and that it took a long while for the dance to get started "and when it did, it wasn’t that good." Bruno started sounding complimentary: "You went for it like a wild animal, lots of kicks and flicks" - but then dropped the bomb "and none of them right." Carrie Ann was a bit nicer, saying that it was an exciting Jive, but Ty didn’t find his footing. Backstage, Ty was his usual even-keeled self, saying that "We can fool the people but not the judges" and after getting their scores, saying that it was "4 points higher than the first week." 6-6-6=18.

Shawn & Mark will dance a Rumba. This ought to be interesting - a sexy Rumba with a 17-year-old?! Trying to teach Shawn the character of the dance, Mark is having problems (surprise) with Shawn’s youth and shyness. He finds out she is missing her senior prom to do the show and decorates their rehearsal studio with balloons and banners and a disco ball for Shawn’s "prom." I’ve always liked Mark, but he never stood out a whole lot for me, but that was a really sweet thing to do (as well as helping Shawn get the idea). The dance looked great, although Shawn looked more "serious" than "romantic" to me. Bruno loved it, saying it was "so beautifully pure - the innocent side of romance with a hint of the devil." Carrie Ann said she could see the discomfort in Shawn’s eyes at the beginning of the dance but that Mark brought out the "acting" in the second half. Len mentioned that Rumbas can be "warm or they can burn - and you got this one just right." Backstage, Mark said he tried hard to keep it "age appropriate" and it obviously worked: 8-9-9-26.

Lawrence & Edyta are up next with a Jive. Edyta tells LT "you’re supposed to have a huge smile on your face with a Jive" but sees it’s impossible with his attitude learning a new dance. Fellow ex-footballer and ex-DWTS star Warren Sapp comes into the rehearsal and tells Lawrence to loosen up and smile a little, and the light bulb goes on. LT interviews that Warren told him he’s supposed to be having fun, and up to this point he hasn’t been having fun. The dance was an improvement although he’s not one of the "big men" as light on his feet as Warren Sapp or Emmitt Smith. He’s just not fluid enough. Carrie Ann was happy that LT "brought your groove back!" but admonished Edyta for the lift (she did a helped-along-by-LT somersault in the air), saying it wasn’t necessary. Len said it was good, basic movement and LT showed the lighter side of his personality, even if he could have been lighter on his feet. Bruno said it looked like LT was having a good time and praised Lawrence for not having lost his timing throughout the whole dance: "your best dance so far." Okay scores: 7-7-8=22.

Gilles & Cheryl are next, and they’re also dancing a Jive. Probably a good choice for them, because after their steamy Paso Doble and all the European kisses he’s laying on Cheryl, I think a Rumba would have certainly put him into divorce court. Gilles is looking forward to letting his fun side come out, but Cheryl is kicking his butt with the choreography and he’s finding it hard to get the steps and lighten up at the same time. Cheryl gives him some time off for fun and takes him to a soccer field and lets him kick a ball around, telling him "that’s how you kick" during a Jive. Watching the dance, I’m both in awe and sympathetic of Gilles - that was some tough choreography! Couldn’t believe Gilles actually managed to keep up. I hated the music - it seemed out of kilter for a Jive. Len liked it enough, saying he showed a lot of quality, but it was a little frantic at times. Bruno told them any faster and they’d have passed the speed of light. He mentioned that "because of the speed you tend to lose your footwork" and that at times Gilles looked like a "mad skee-wull," which I translated to "mad squirrel." Carrie Ann said Gilles was doing something weird with his arms but liked it. Backstage Gilles gasped that it was the "hardest dance I’ve ever done." Good scores: 9-8-9=26.

Wrapping up the evening are Chuck & Julianne and the Rumba. Okay, they’re dating, they should nail the romance and sexiness of this one no problem. Of course, when your honey is teaching you how to do something you’ve never done for a competition it’s a bit tough to think of her romantically (unless you had a thing for your teacher way back when). They take off from practice to recreate their first date and be romantic without dancing. It looked pretty good, although Julianne was tossing her head around so much I was hoping it wouldn’t go flying off her shoulders into the audience (and the audience would have plenty of souvenirs - Carrie Ann’s bracelet and Julianne’s head - here we come Ebay!) Bruno was happy, saying "That’s what I wanted! Chuck switched on the raunch factor!" but did let him know it wasn’t technically perfect. Carrie Ann was fanning herself and said it was the most passionate of the evening. Cranky pants Len said that "parts of that dance were more suitable for the bedroom than the ballroom" and it was a little too raunchy. Backstage, Chuck told Samantha it was his favorite dance of the season. Their scores: 8-7-8=23.

The judges' leaderboard looks like this:
29 - Melissa & Tony
28 - Lil’ Kim & Derek
26 - Shawn & Mark
26 - Gilles & Cheryl
23 - Chuck & Julianne
22 - Lawrence & Edyta
18 - Ty & Chelsie
16 - Steve-O & Lacey

So has everyone voted? Don’t assume someone else will do it! Will Steve-O escape once again? Will it be LT and Steve-O in the bottom two again for that ridiculously unnecessary Dance Off? Anyone looking like a clear winner to you?

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