Let me begin by confessing that I really have no clue as to what’s been going down on Dancing with the Stars this season. I mean, I really got into Season 2, I kept up with Season 3, but other than the premiere episode this time around I haven’t seen any of Season 4. I keep taping it, but never get around to watching them.
So, really, I’m coming to the Final Six performances with a completely fresh eye. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is yet to be determined. At least with each couple performing a duo of dances I get two chances to sample what they are offering.
Laila and Maksim: Remember that old quote about how Ginger Rogers did the same things as Fred Astaire, but backwards and in high heels? Exactly. From the word "go" ballroom dancing looks like it requires much more exertion and skill on the part of the woman. Yet men always seem to do better on this show. Maybe it’s because they can master their part a lot easier. Either way, our lone female celebrity Laila delivers a light quickstep (29) and a ferocious samba (30).
John and Edyta: It’s kind of cute that Edyta worries about her and John’s rhumba seeming too sexy due to their age differences. Obviously her time in Los Angeles hasn’t corrupted her. Having struggled in past weeks, the judges are pleased with John’s progress in "dance rehab" and award him a 23 for his foxtrot and a 22 for the platonic rhumba.
Apolo and Julianne: Judge Len appears to have some sort of mental block when it comes to Apolo, stuck on hims being "good but not great." Thing is, I agree with him. He’s very middle-of-the-road for me. I don’t see anything wrong with his performance but I completely forget it before the judges finish talking. They score well with a 26 and a 28, but I swear I couldn’t tell you what they did to earn either.
Ian and Cheryl: I’m naturally disposed to anyone from a teen soap, so, of course, I’m rooting for Ian, in the same way that I will automatically back whatever OC cast member shows up on Bowling with the B-Listers in 10 years time. Plus, they tango to one of my favorite ’80s songs, Bonnie Tyler’s "Holding Out for Hero." For those two things alone I would award him a 9 on the spot (and am tempted to give him a 10 for getting Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling all to show up together). The judges must agree, because they get a 27. Their chemistry-affirming rhumba merits a 27 as well.
Billy Ray and Karina: It must suck to be the professional partner of someone who just can’t seem to get his act together. There’s obvious discord between the partners and this isn’t helped when Billy Ray decides he wants to showcase Karine at the beginning of the waltz. Apparently, that’s just not done. Despite worries of being crucified, the judges appear to be charmed by him, if not his skills. They manage a 17 for the waltz and — by comparison — a stellar 21 for their samba.
Joey and Kym: Having seen three very different foxtrots, this one is obviously the best of the bunch. Truly, Joey’s boy band days have served him well. I have to say this is definitely one of the most fun pairings of the group. Starting the night with a 29 for their foxtrot, they cap things off with a 30 for the jive.
For those keeping track at home, that ties Laila and Joey for the lead.