Monday, November 2, 2009

A HOT Tango Beats the Paso Doble - But Two Couples Go Home Tomorrow!

LIVE! FROM HOLLYWOOD! THIS IS DANCING WITH THE STARS!

Tonight the stars have two dances - a regular and Team Dance. We have Team Paso Doble and Team Tango. I like this combination - usually the Paso went up against a Jitterbug or Foxtrot and it’s far too dramatic and usually wins - at least the Tango is more comparable.

The flu bug has hit again! Lacey is sick this week and Mark will dance with Anna Trebunskaya. I’m surprised none of the stars have gotten sick with the bug going around.

We begin the show with our pros - Jonathan, Chelsie, Tony, Edyta, Alec and I have no idea who is dancing with Tony! They dance a Paso Doble first and switch to Tango. It’s incredible, of course. At the end, the women end up in a quasi-backbend over the men’s knees - and I’m wondering how they don’t crack every vertebrae! (Either that or it’s a quick chiropractic adjustment!)

The stars designed their pros’ costumes tonight. And while I like Kelly Osbourne a lot, she is NOT a designer! From what I see of Louis’ pants, they’re an aqua/turquoise and fringed!!! Gah!

Len says that the pressure is going to go up tonight - they are expecting great dancing. Kelly looks like she’s going to throw up.

Michael & Anna will dance the Foxtrot to begin the evening. Anna asks if he had any kind of touchdown dance, and he does a lunge as he “spikes” the football. Anna tells him he has to be debonaire “I can be debonaire” and like Fred Astaire “No one has ever mistaken me for Fred Astaire.” (Especially considering Astaire was 5'9"). Michael really looks good for this dance. He’s smiling, looks rather light on his feet, and Anna’s dress looks really gorgeous! Len begins by saying “the first couple of weeks I would have been happy to see the back of you.” He then goes on to say that last week’s Waltz was fantastic, and this week’s Foxtrot was too. Bruno says Michael’s musicality has improved - but his bum still sticks out. “Remember the nickle.” Carrie Ann doesn’t know how Michael does it - calls the dance gracious and fluid and compliments his design of Anna’s costume. Michael tells Samantha he was inspired by Barney (the big purple dinosaur) because the last time he had this much fun he was watching Barney with his kids. Their scores: 8-8-7=23, the best of the season so far.

Tom quips that “If Barney looked like Anna, I’d be watching without my kids.”

Before the commercial, we see Lacey sick and Mark rehearsing with Tony and then Anna. He’s a little freaked out that he’s had three different partners this week.

Donny & Kym are going to dance the QuickStep. Donny is having problems with his posture and Kym brings out the posture bar. Donny wants it built into his costume (not a bad idea!) Donny looks pretty snazzy in long tails for the dance. It looks like he missteps a little bit here and there - is it me or him? And it’s not like this is easy choreography either. Bruno tells Donny that “as a performer you’re solid as a rock - nobody could cover up all the mistakes as well as you do.” Carrie Ann thought it was pretty good, liked the light footwork but said it was not his best. Len offers that they came out “full boar” right from the beginning and did a proper Quickstep - but “when you play it safe, there are no mistakes.” Their scores are pretty good: 8-8-8=24.

Tom tells us that the captains of the two Dance Teams are the highest scoring stars from last week: Joanna and Aaron. Team Tango is Joanna & Derek, Donny & Kym and Kelly & Louis. Team Paso Doble is Aaron & Karina, Mya & Dmitry, Mark & Anna (Lacey’s replacement) and Michael & Anna.

Mark & Anna are up next. He thinks that he and Lacey are finally contenders after the Jitterbug last week. Mark sees Lacey feeling non-energetic and tells her to go home, and she cries that she’s sorry. Mark is in New York taping Iron Chef America and practicing after a 12-hour day. As Mark tries to practice with a handheld video recorder, Tony walks in and says “I’m not as pretty as Lacey, but I’m here to help.” When Mark flies back to Los Angeles, Anna walks in (because Mark can’t dance with Tony, but that would have been pretty funny seeing Tony in a girl’s costume!) Mark has two days to have Anna teach him a new Samba. I really like this music! The dance looks pretty good too! Carrie Ann offers him compassion for having a rough time - but says that it was a “mess.” Len says Mark has had a tough week and the Samba is a tough dance, and can’t agree with Carrie Ann to that extent. It’s not Mark’s best dance, but he coped very well. Bruno says that “it was a bit like watching Kung Fu Panda does the Samba on the Planet of the Apes.” Jeeze! I didn’t think it was that bad! I feel bad for Mark - and Anna looks pretty bummed too. The scores suck: 6-7-6=19.

Mya & Dmitry will next dance a Foxtrot. She’s looking forward to doing an elegant dance and wants to impress Len. She’s thinking too much and Dmitry wants Mya to just dance. He brings in Chloris Leachman (I’m still trying to figure this one out!) who tells Mya that she has to connect with Dmitry, and give him bedroom eyes rather than “like this” and crosses her eyes. Mya looks very classic with her hair down and the mauve gown is really pretty on her. Len begins by saying “I liked the parts that were in hold.” He says that there were too many gimmicks - but “you probably pleased these other two, so two out of three ain’t bad.” (Meatloaf is waiting in the wings....) Bruno tells her that this Foxtrot “perfectly captured the glamorous aura of Hollywood.” He loved her timing and says she danced like an angel. Carrie Ann says “Len is officially smoking crack!” She loved the dance, calling it fluid and graceful. Their scores: 9-7-9=25. One of these weeks, they may actually get the judges on the same page and get good scores straight through!

Aaron & Karina are going to dance a Jive. He hated being in the bottom two for two weeks and loved being safe last week. Karina looks like she’s really choreographing some tough moves and Aaron is having trouble with his footwork so Karina takes him to an athletic training facility where NFL players train and had him hopping all over. Karina is a vision of pink fringe and they’re both hopping all over, looking pretty good - I notice that Karina puts in little “rests” where Aaron isn’t moving constantly. Bruno yells that Aaron kicks fast “to the galaxy and beyond.” Carrie Ann said it was so good, and his kicks were controlled - “but there was one little weird thingy in the middle” and Tom says “we call that Len.” Len is next and says “that had enough energy to light up Hollywood.” He said it was wild but clean, and fast but it had control - “I was tempted to dust off me 10 paddle.” Karina tells Len “don’t hesitate!” Their scores: 9-10-10=29. Aaron & Karina go nuts.

Kelly & Louis come up next to Salsa. She’s ticked that Bruno called her “beige” last week. She says it’s hard because dancing is something she can’t bullshit her way out of. She’s getting upset because she says that Louis has changed his approach and she can’t get used to it. As they stand ready to dance on the floor, Tom says that “obviously Kelly paid Louis back for the hard training this week by designing those pants.” Boy is he right! Louis looks like a total jerk in the pants! HAH! He tears them off in the middle of the dance. Then, Louis tears off Kelly’s black skirt and she finishes the dance in a short fringed skirt. Kelly still looks pretty reserved - I have a feeling the judges are going to skewer her. But I loved the spins at the end! Carrie Ann calls Kelly over for a hug, and says she was unafraid and loved the dance (and the pants design). Len stands up and says Kelly wasn’t afraid gave a full performance - even though it’s okay that Louis is pushing her because all aspects of her dancing need to come up. Bruno, not to be outdone by stuffy Len, jumps up on the desk shaking his hips and his butt. Louis runs to grab his discarded pants and Bruno wraps them around his neck. He says that “once you get the character, flirty and a little dirty, you let it all out.” She still had a little stumble. Kelly tells them “thanks for calling me beige” and Bruno says “it kicked you in the ass, didn’t it!” Their scores: 8-8-8=24.

Joanna & Derek are going to finish up the couples’ dancing with a Rumba. Derek says it’s slow and sensual and he’s going to show Joanna “how it is to dance with a Latin lover.” He wants her to leave the engagement ring outside because “it’s only me and you in the studio” but Joanna is having problems because Derek is a goofball. Joanna can’t see the romance in their relationship but he can - and they do a cheesy clip with Joanna funning along the beach and Derek feeding her strawberries. Joanna tells him “you’re much stronger than Maks” and as the couple embraces for a kiss, we’re back into reality with Derek kissing himself in the studio mirror. Really funny! Almost as if Derek knows he’s a little stuck on himself and can exploit it for fun. To tell the truth, it looks a little over the top to me at the start. They aren’t moving around the floor too much and her spins are very fast and jerky. She bobbles a little bit in a lean - we’ll see what the judges say. Len says the recipe for a good Rumba for him is the basics and good technique, for Bruno a little bit of the wow factor, and Carrie Ann wants no lifts but emotion and chemistry - “and I believe that ticked all of our boxes.” Bruno calls Joanna a love goddess - “so sexy I could taste it.” Carrie Ann says Joanna dances at the edge, like she could go terribly wrong at any moment - but not tonight. Sorry, I didn’t like it. Their scores: 9-9-9=27. (So they could care less what I think!)

Tom asks before the commercial if the couples can put aside their differences to dance the Team dances. It looks like the pros are having more tension with the choreography and each other than the stars are. Team Tango is introduced walking through a smoky archway, followed by Team Paso Doble. (I feel sorry for the people in the audience by that smoke!) We see the rehearsals where they decide the order of the couples, and then all the problems with the pros trying to choreograph. Amid all the bickering Michael says that “we gotta have one heartbeat.” They rehearse on Tuesday and again on Saturday and by Saturday Anna is there with Mark because Lacey is sick. Aaron & Karina get the first solo and Aaron looks like he forgot a chunk of it. Michael & Anna come up next and Michael looks like he’s dancing with a stick up his ass. Mark & Anna are next and it’s here that I miss Lacey - she’s pretty exciting with her choreography on the Paso Doble. Mya & Dmitry finish up and we go back to the group. It’s pretty decent, powerful - but I liked the Team Paso from the season that Mel B and Maks were partners, that one kicked better ass than this one. Bruno says it was strong and powerful but they lost a little bit of sync. Carrie Ann loved the intensity but said it was a bit basic for this stage in the competition - but said Mark redeemed himself from the last dance. Len congratulates Michael for pulling the rehearsal together and says the routine got stronger as it went on. Their scores: 8-8-8=24.

Team Tango rehearses next and begins Tuesday after the show. Donny asks if it’s better to have less couples and Louis tells him yes, “less egos.” The pros choreograph the routine first and then teach it to the stars which seems to work pretty well. Kelly & Louis will go first, then Donny & Kym and Derek & Joanna will be the anchor team. Since Donny is the only male celebrity, they are going to have all the women “fight” over him and of course, Donny doesn’t mind a bit. During Sunday’s rehearsal, Donny is having problems but the guys are helping him even though he says he feels as if he’s getting the flu. The “fighting over Donny” bit is pretty cool. Kelly improves her Tango immensely over the first attempt! Donny looks mega intense and Joanna & Derek do some wicked spins. I really love this choreography! Carrie Ann rushes down to high five the girls and spank all the guys (you harlot, you!) She then yells “why did you put in a lift? It was perfect without it!!!” Len thinks it’s easier to dance Tango because they are in hold most of the time than the Paso and this was the more superior dance. Bruno yells it was “superb” and tells Joanna she is a “love goddess” and “Donny Darko is magnetic.” He tells Kelly that she found her mojo. The scores are great: 9-9-10=28.

So after the individual dances and the Team scores, here are the standings:

27 + 28 = 55 - Joanna & Derek
29 + 24 = 53 - Aaron & Karina
24 + 28 = 52 - Donny & Kym
24 + 28 = 52 - Kelly & Louis
25 + 24 = 49 - Mya & Dmitry
23 + 24 = 47 - Michael & Anna D.
19 + 24 = 43 - Mark & Anna T.

I really hope that the fans save Mark - I really like him. But then, I like all the couples (with Michael and Aaron my least favorites, so they can go home). It’s gonna be a bummer, whoever goes home (two couples tomorrow night!) Make sure you vote, people!

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