This week, all the “Dancing With the Stars” couples must dance two different routines, one in the style of different decades.
After the Descent of Doom, hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris run down the specifics of tonight. Each couple will do a Ballroom and a Latin style but, of course, they’ve added a twist – each Latin number must capture the spirit of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, or…the future. This should be interesting to say the least.
With so few couples, there’s some extra time on the schedule so we get
a filler package with the judges talking about what they’re looking for
from each celeb. Donny needs to make sure his shoulders don’t hunch up,
Joanna has to be aware of her balance and technique in fast dances,
they’re looking for Kelly to grow on all levels, they want to see more
technique and less “show” from Mya, and Aaron has to keep control over
1. Mya & Dmitry Chaplin
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”Baby Wants A Diamond Ring” a la the Squirrel Nut Zippers
Even though they’re having problems figuring out what Len wants, they both agree that if they choreograph just to make the judges happy, they could lose some magic. Whatever they’re doing, they need to keep on doing it because this was great. The footwork was stellar and the choreography was high energy without being frantic. They covered a lot of floor and Mya’s posture was great. If Len doesn’t like this, I just don’t know what’s wrong with him.
Len did a huge lead up/fake out to say he couldn’t find anything to criticize. Bruno called it “quality” and likened it to “vintage champagne – light, sparkling, full of flavor…after you taste it, nothing else will do.” Carrie Ann said she made something so difficult and very intricate look so easy.
Score: 29 (9-10-10) – Wow Len, I’m shocked!
2. Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/”Lucky” a la Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
Karina’s the next to catch the fever-bug which leads to practicing much of the week with both of them wearing masks. Despite running a fever and dizzy spells, she refuses to let anyone else dance with Aaron (and potentially land them in the bottom again). First, they got a great song to dance to. Aaron’s got very distinct rise and fall and the character is sweet and understated. Overall it’s good but there’s a little weirdness in the arms at the beginning. There’s something a little off in the legs but I can’t tell if it’s him or some bizarre visual effect of his velvet vest and pants.
Bruno sees the work and appreciates all the steps that went into it but it felt a little tense. Carrie Ann agrees that there was a bit of loss of fluidity. Len says watching him is like watching his kid in a toy shop and says, regardless of what happens, he’s very proud of him.
Score: 23 (7-8-8)
3. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”Valerie” a la Amy Winehouse
To try and give them a competitive edge, Derek has Joanna watch some tapes of Mya dancing during which he mentions how all the moves flow perfectly. Thanks you! I wish some of the judges would of gave that bit of critique to Joanna like, ever. I found the whole intro a bit awkward and that thread carried through the whole number. Once in hold, it got better – there were some very nice kick sequences – but there were quite a few footwork bobbles during it. Her posture was good though. It wasn’t complete rubbish but it wasn’t great either.
Carrie Ann says that while her carriage was “really nice,” she doesn’t point her toes and it makes it “a little bit of an eyesore.” Len says it lacked body contact and wasn’t up to the standard of a quarter-final. Bruno said “it looked like she was running away from the scene of a crime.”
Score: 23 (8-7-8) – She totally got an extra point for being a model because I found it just as awkward as Aaron’s Foxtrot
4. Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Osbourne
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/”Mama Do” a la Pixie Lott
Because she’s super-easily distracted, Louis commandeered all her stuff to keep her focused during rehearsal. It started off a smidge slow performance wise but she came to life after about 15-seconds. The technique looked very good – a nice rise and fall, good posture, solid arm extensions. She even got to be a little sassy. She sometimes seems momentarily lost when they break hold, which she needs to work on. But overall I enjoyed it.
Judges: Len loved the routine and thought everything but the footwork was fantastic. Bruno called her “light and ethereal.” Carrie Ann says she needs to work on her spots in turn (I agree) and her extensions and range of motion.
Score: 25 (8-8-9)
5. Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Dance/Song: Viennese Waltz/”You Don’t Know Me” a la Michael Buble
Donny was burned out last week so he decided to flip the mental switch and treat this as a starting over point to get back to having fun. I found the number so pretty that I kind of wasn’t paying attention to the technique part of it. There were a few less-than-perfect arm position changes and one less-than-natural looking turn sequence toward the beginning but other than that, it looked very good. Hey, is that Jody Watley sitting next to Marie Osmond in the audience? Wait, is that Taylor Dayne on the other side?
Judges: Bruno said it was like “watching a Lifetime movie” in all the good ways. Carrie Ann also found it mesmerizing and his posture was improved. Len agrees about the posture, thought it had great rotation and appreciated the “fleckle step, but it was way to “arty farty.”
Score: 26 (9-8-9)
Before we get to the celebs, we get a group number from the pros because, once again, we’ve got some time to burn. They dance to “Standing In The Way Of Control” a la the very excellent The Gossip, “La Tortura” a la Shakira & Alejandro Sanz, and “Come Dancing” a la The Kinks (with an extra dose of Calypso feel). Tony Dovolani and Mark Ballas are the only two of the six I recognize and Tom only identifies the other four as “some of the best young pros in the country”.
We also get another package about what the judges are looking for in the Latin round. They want to see Donny shore up his mistakes, Mya needs to “let her hair down” and really attack, they wonder if Joanna can be aggressive enough in her dance, Kelly needs to excel at dancing out of hold, and Aaron needs to, as Len says, “shake what his mama gave [him].”
6. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: 70’s Samba/”Bad Girls” a la Donna Summer, slighty slowed down with extra Samba flavor
First, Dmitry is wearing a shag wig with a giant fake mustache. Win! Now that that’s out of the way, he was worrying about getting good choreography together and he absolutely did. There was an extended, multi-speed Samba Roll which was impressive and he did a good job adding the Disco without losing the Samba. Mya really looked like she was having fun with this number and danced it fantastically. This is totally a breakthrough week for her.
Judges: Carrie Ann says she believes she wants to win it and that it was “beyond belief.” Len says her hips were “hypnotic” and that she produces to dances of the highest standard. I don’t exactly know what Bruno was talking about it but I can tell he liked it.
Score: 30 (10-10-10) – First of the season!
7. Aaron & Karina
Dance/Song: 90’s Samba/”Two Princes” a la The Spin Doctors
During rehearsal, Aaron shows some moves he rocked as a kid in the 90’s to incorporate into the number. One such move is “The Rodeo” which, as he says, every boy band did then. And it amused me every time. From the very first step it’s already better than the first round. He looks a lot more natural, the technique is better, and, like Mya, I can tell he’s having fun. The 90’s style wasn’t as ingrained as in the previous routine but it’s also a less iconic decade. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff that was in there was good but it was more like bookends than all throughout.
Judges: Len loved that he sold it. Bruno says he channeled his energy really well and that they managed to meld the two styles well. Carrie Ann thought he’s really grown and is a great performer.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
8. Joanna & Derek
Dance/Song: Futuristic Paso Doble/”Living On Video” a la Trans X
I really like what Derek did with the number and I’d love to see him dance it with a pro. All the stuff in hold was quite good – she was sharp and held her posture well. Joanna also really held onto the character. It was the side-by-side stuff that was a bit disappointing. She didn’t totally match Derek’s movements and lacked some sharpness, didn’t hit the beats as hard as he did. And she’s still having trouble pointing her toes. Her posture was good though. It was definitely better than last round but not good enough for a perfect score (which this number could easily get).
Judges: Bruno waxed poetic about what Derek did, going so far as to drop some “Blade Runner” references. Carrie Ann said it was “outstanding execution” of the theme and congratulated Joanna on not getting out of sync…though she did note some mistakes that were made. Len echoed Bruno’s sentiment of calling Derek’s choreography and treatment “genius.”
Score: 29 (9-10-10) – Once again, the guys overscore the pretty lady…or it was bonus points for Derek…
9. Kelly & Louis
Dance/Song: 60’s Jive/”River Deep, Mountain High” a la Tina Turner
Since her first music video was 60’s themed, she was excited to bring some choreographic knowledge to the table. I like her costume – who knew she could rock a green wig? Louis’ rocking a shag wig of his own. They used a “ragdoll” in the routine, which I’m sure Len will hate. It was a fun routine overall but not the best execution. Her bounce was inconsistent as was the sharpness of her kicks, but it was an improvement over her first Jive. Strangely, about halfway through when the 60’s dances kicked in, she seemed to have gotten a boost of energy and was much stronger to the end.
Judges: Len said she was a revelation in that she gets stronger every week. Bruno called it “groovy.” Carrie Ann said it was one of her best performances but there were a few missteps. Surprisingly, she was the only one who mentioned the ragdoll bit went on too long.
Score: 26 (8-9-9)
10. Donny & Kym
Dance/Song: 80’s Paso Doble/”You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” a la Dead or Alive
Their costumes are…awesome. Donny looks like Adam Ant and Kym looks sort of like Madonna. Oh! And there’s a wind machine! Oh…I just…this is too much. I love it to pieces. It almost doesn’t matter that the technique was good (it was) because the 80’s of it all is so full of win.
Judges: Len said it was the most “crazy, bizarre” Paso he’s ever seen but he liked it. Bruno said it had more camp in it than “a drag queen convention.” Carrie Ann thought they did a great job with the era but the costumes cheated some of the lines (which I agree with).
Score: 24 (8-8-8)
Bottom Two: I think it’s between Kelly, Aaron, and Joanna though my gut says that Kelly will be safe. It’s kind of hard to say because I don’t know if Joanna will get a bigger swell of “Derek Votes” for the Future!Paso.
Who’s Out: I really don’t know…it might be Aaron’s time but I think he’s had a lot of personal growth and audiences dig that. I think it may be Joanna’s time…
Your thoughts on tonight? Surprised Len’s finally giving Mya her due? Did you love Donny & Kym’s 80’s fabulous-ness? Who do you think will be eliminated?