During the introduction parade, I notice immediately that Lawrence Taylor wasn't kidding about designing a more modest costume for Edyta. She's wearing his long, long-sleeved coat that's downright Puritan in the Latin world let alone for Edyta. Also, The Singer had quite the collection of shiny marbles dancing about her brow tonight. She always looks like a saucy alien queen on "Star Trek."
1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony
Dance/Song: Argentine Tango/Some weird Techno-Tango-Rap en Espanol piece
I had to mute the TV because the music was…disconcerting for some reason but that didn't really help. The good news was the lines were great, Melissa got into character, and she seemed more grounded. The bad news was that it didn't really sizzle. Perhaps it's because I wasn't really digging the choreography or the music was distractingly odd. It was good but did not equal Gilles & Cheryl.
Judges: Len thought it was fantastic but saw a possible mistake. Bruno loved it so much he needs a drink. (Insert joke here). Carrie Ann called it the best Argentine Tango this season and dubbed them the "King and Queen of Legal Lifts." Geez, I guess I'll have to watch this one again.
Score: 29 (10-9-10)
Apparently Melissa was dancing with bruised ribs. Huh, maybe that's what I was noticing…
2. Lawrence Taylor & Edyta
Dance/Song: Waltz/"Open Arms" by Journey
While LT can probably never truly be light on his feet, this is the lightest he's been on the show. His center of gravity seemed to be up around his waist as opposed to his knees. He did much better than I thought he would. Despite not being technically fantastic, he captured the character of the dance well. P.S. Edyta shed the sparkly Puritan coat during the number – the dress underneath was very pretty.
Judges: Bruno loved the romance at the beginning but LT lost balance a few times. Carrie Ann saw more freedom of movement and grace from him and complimented him on Edyta's dress. Len agrees he captured the tenderness of the dance but there were quite a few mistakes throughout, including Edyta getting tangled in her outfit.
Score: 21 (all 7's)
3. Lil' Kim & Derek
Dance/Song: Rumba/"Lost Without You" by Robin Thicke
During rehearsal, they amazingly had to work on Kim not being too sexy since they know how much Len hates that. I like Kim's outfit but unfortunately the see-through sheath hangs in a way that obscures what her hips and legs are doing at times. The choreography was good and it was well executed. As far as I could tell she had good hip action but it's possible that in her desire to not go over the top, Kim reigned it in a little too much.
Judges: Carrie Ann called it understated and a little underwhelming, adding she wants Kim to always let loose. Len loved it but agrees with C to the A, saying you can strive to just please one judge. Bruno thought it was good but likened an un-raunchy Lil' Kim to a margarita without tequila.
Score: 26 (9-8-9)
4. Chuck Wicks & Julianne
Dance/Song: Samba/"Baila Baila" by Angela Via
The thing about Chuck is that he has moments where he's really good but then he starts looking like he's counting/concentrating too hard. Overall, it was a fun number and he danced well. I'd say it's his best dance yet.
Judges: Len agrees it was his best so far, Bruno said he was working his butt and hips liked he'd never seen before, and Carrie Ann did a happy dance.
Score: 27 (all 9's)
5. Ty Murray & Chelsie
Dance/Song: Waltz/"Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter
After a couple rough weeks, Ty's back to his strength – a Ballroom discipline. The technique was great, his posture was fantastic, and it was a cute number. I liked it, a definite upswing from last week. Though he still needs to work on his facial expressions.
Judges: Bruno said it was well done, Carrie Ann complimented his great frame and connection, and Len called it "absolutely spot on."
Score: 24 (all 8's)
6. Shawn Johnson & Mark
Dance/Song: Cha Cha/"P.Y.T" by Michael Jackson
First of all, Mark's choreography was great. It was fun and was high energy despite the song being played too slow. Shawn's technique was fab as always, though if I were to nitpick she could use just a little bit more hip action at times.
Judges: Carrie Ann loved it, adding that Shawn's "flawless technique" didn't overpower her personality. Len thought they perfectly blended crispness and rhythm. Bruno likened her to a young Debbie Reynolds or Mitzi Gaynor. For those unfamiliar, it's a high compliment.
Score: 28 (9-9-10) – Actually, I was kind of expecting a perfect score or at least two 10's
7. Gilles Marini & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Viennese Waltz/"I Go To Sleep" by Sia
More really good choreography – I especially liked how the dance paused with the break in the music. Gilles danced it very well though his arms were still a little sharp like in Latin dances and the hands were a bit mleh. But really that's nitpicking because it was great overall. The character was perfect and they held my attention well.
Judges: Len loved the nuances to the music but says to work a bit on the footwork. Bruno likened it to the romance of the movie "Gigi". Carrie Ann says his the most graceful male dancer and gives the tip to watch his posture.
Score: 27 (all 9's)
Dance/Song: Tribute to the 60's/"369" by Cupid
Christian Perry is the choreographer for this number and he did a fantastic job. The ladies, pro and celeb, start out on platforms or the stairs with some go-go dancer action. The guys come out en masse next and get a bit to themselves. While Ty and LT looked a little lost, at least Ty's got some guns. Chuck is wearing a blonde shag wig. Surprisingly I liked Ty & Chelsie and LT & Edyta's solos a lot – Ty's bucking bronco recreation was the funny. I also really dug Shawn & Mark's flip/roll-fest. This is probably my favorite group number because no one looked incredibly, painfully uncomfortable like the Old School Hip-Hop routine last seen (argh!) and they all seemed to genuinely have fun.
Judges: Bruno called it sublime silliness, Carrie Ann thought the girls nailed it and complimented Christian on the choreography, and Len loved it – it made him flashback to clubbing in 1964.
Bottom Two: It's between LT, Ty and Chuck but I'm willing to bet it'll be Lawrence and Ty.
Who's Out: It's a bit of a coin toss but it'll probably be LT.
So what did you think of the group dance? Who's solo was your favorite? Which number did you dig the most? Any other thoughts?