The penultimate week of “Dancing With the Stars” gives us a tightly scored, triple-dance semi-final round and an arc of redemption for Donny Osmond.
After the short Descent of Doom (which no one has tripped during in ages), host Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris run down the particulars of tonight’s show. Each of the four couples will do two new dances and their Knock Out dances that they’ve been practicing for weeks. That’s right…that’s three dances for the first time ever. Also, during the Latin round, all the celebtestants must do a solo.
1. Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Dance/Song: Tango/”Black & Gold” a la Sam Sparro, an odd choice but I love the song usually
Kym brought in Gilles Marini to give tips to Donny to rock his Tango. His best piece of advice: make it so hot that people feel uncomfortable. Interesting. The choreography was pretty good but I found the song distracting. It got a bit better with it being muted…however, there was a really rough patch towards the beginning (her dress may have gotten tangled in their feet). While he finished fine, it was never at 100%. He knew it too and didn’t hide his frustration at all.
Judges: Len called it unfortunate since the Argentine Tango a few weeks ago was great. Bruno said he completely lost it but he couldn’t cover it up. Carrie Ann says she thinks they handled the costume disaster well and made it through the end. Donny, reverting to his comfort zone, jokingly blamed his mistakes on Marie being there. Tom, ever the pro, brought Marie on the floor for the commercial bump for a retort. Score: 21 (7-7-7)
2. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Vienesse Waltz/”Hallelujah” a la Rufus Wainwright
Brooke Burke came in to give some tips. Kudos on having some personality. Here’s the thing about Joanna…if you don’t look at her feet, it gives a much better illusion on how good she is. She’s shown some improvement but still has minor lapses in form. I’ll give it to Derek though, this time around he didn’t really give her anything that’d make her look bad. It was actually quite pretty.
Judges: Bruno said it had the “grace of angels in heaven” but there was some hesitation that lessened the effect. Carrie Ann lauded how far she’s come and that it was gorgeous, adding that she needs to have purpose when she’s reaching out. Len said she’s nearly pro-level in hold and had great posture and, despite some weirdness in the limbs, he thought it was beautiful.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
3. Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel
Dance/Song: Rumba/”Angel” a la Robbie Williams
Despite one of her ridiculously adorable fluffy dogs dying at the beginning of rehearsal week, she pushed through her grief and wanted to up the difficulty in the routines to make it to the finals. She had really good lines but needed more consistent hip movement. She didn’t shy away from her solo, which I didn’t love the choreography for, but the big highlight was the ending lean pose where Louie was in a half split and holding on to only one of her ankles. Work.
Judges: She made Carrie Ann emotional and says, despite not having some of what the other contestants have, she has a magical quality that makes her love her. Len says she’s become a very competent dancer, not her best but not her worst. Bruno says she is very enduring and did some very difficult poses well, but the hip movement wasn’t there.
Score: 24 (8-8-8)
4. Mya & Dmitry Chaplin
Dance/Song: Waltz/”Amore E Musica” a la Russell Watson
She’s getting down to business and has installed some rules to help keep them disciplined including five push-ups when she makes a mistake. That definitely encourages perfection in my book. The dance was very pretty, it had an airy quality to it. There was a spin in the middle that was just too lovely – it was like something you’d see in a music box. I think she emoted a lot better than she has in the past. Very, very good.
Judges: Len said it had romance, elegance, and beautiful movement across the floor. Bruno called it “love set to music.” Carrie Ann loved it too but felt she was slightly not connected in hold, clarifying that if she makes it to the final she’ll be watching like a hawk.
Score: 28 (9-9-10)
Before each dance this round, we get a little package on the remaining celebtestants backgrounds to “show where their competitive spirit came from” or “make a last attempt to get you to like ______ if you don’t already.”
5. Donny & Kym
Dance/Song: Samba/”One Bad Apple” a la The Osmonds
Donny’s story goes from his beginnings as a child pop star through trying to reestablish himself in the 80’s. Sister Marie, his wife, three of his sons, his wife, and Stevie Wonder all say kind things about him intercut with clips from the season. It’s fitting that The Powers That Be waited until now, with the Samba, to pull out one of his old hits. It was better than the first round from the very beginning. His solo was solid, though once or twice he was a little bit Broadway and a little less Samba. He definitely looked like he was having fun and the technique was good. Nice recovery.
Judges: Bruno said he came back and nailed it. Carrie Ann said it was better but felt a little sloppy for him because he was dancing a bit small (she says she has high expectations). Len agrees with Bruno, saying it was a “metamorphosis.”
Score: 26 (8-9-9)
6. Joanna & Derek
Dance/Song: Cha Cha/”Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” a la Kylie Minogue
Joanna and her mother moved to Chicago from communist Poland when she was 5-years-old, helping to care for her little sister Marta. She took ballet lessons until she was 9. She moved to LA at 20 to be a model. What I find interesting about this package in comparison to Donny’s is this one had sympathetic, soft piano music in the background while his seemed…well, less about tugging at the heart strings. Anyways, screw that sympathetic stuff, here’s Joanna in a bra-top and shimmy pants! The solo was good, though I really didn’t like the dizzy camera movement. Her feet were much better in this round. There were a few moments that felt a little low energy but I figure she was either concentrating harder then or just didn’t like the moves that much.
Judges: Carrie Ann thought she did a nice job and complimented her ability to switch from a Waltz to a “wild child.” Len said it was clean and crisp but he wanted it to be a little cheekier. Bruno basically just said she was sexy and should be proud of how far she’s come.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
7. Kelly & Louis
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”99 Luftballoons (English Version)” a la Nena
Kelly’s history touched lightly on her young childhood, her experience on the family’s reality show, and (very briefly) how she abused drugs to cope with the media hounding her. But the real focus was on how transformative she’s found the experience to be in a very positive way. She had optimistic music playing at the end of her bi
o. Her technique was great and it was going very well until a synchronization problem in the middle. But she finished really strong and that always helps. The footwork was really good and she traveled the floor well. With the exception of the sync issue, it was a definite improvement over the first round.
Judges: Len said it was totally beyond his expectations and was blown away. Bruno said it was light, fast-footed, and absolutely great except for the little bobble. Carrie Ann pumped her fists with excitement and said it was fabulous. Kelly, before leaving the floor, tearfully thanked the judges for all their comments which help give her the confidence to keep going.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
8. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Salsa/”La Isla Bonita” a la Madonna
Mya understated that her dad worked several jobs and both parents sacrificed to expose her to the arts. Her mom initially taught her how to tap from a book she got at the library (which is very cool). Secretly singing at first, later she told her parents that she wanted to pursue it seriously. But when her first single dropped, her parents were getting a divorce and she found out her mom had breast cancer. Good gravy. Mya’s package also ended with optimistic music. They improved their connection in hold and Mya easily performed the best in her solo. She was working the tassels on her outfit like she was trying to shake them off. The choreography was crazy and she never missed a step. I’d say more about it but I was distracted by Dmitry’s open shirt.
Judges: Bruno stood up and called it “sensational.” Carrie Ann called her solo “slammin'” and gave props for her being amazing while dancing difficult choreography. Len said he was mesmerized by her buttocks and said she deserved to be in the finals.
Score: 30 (10-10-10)
In this round, everyone performs the elimination dance-off number they never had to do. We get a general rehearsal/celebtestant confessional package before everyone goes.
9. Donny & Kym
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/”Jump Shout Boogie” a la Barry Manilow
He did really well…in fact, it was his best of the night. It had the fun of the Round 2 Samba but with better technique and a much more fitting character/performance level. A perfect capper to the comeback story of the night.
Judges: Carrie Ann is thankful he got his mojo back, Len said it was a winner, and Bruno thought it was “upbeat” and “full of vigor.”
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
10. Joanna & Derek
Dance/Song: Salsa/”La Luz Del Ritmo” a la Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Derek started the number by shaking out of his shiny, hot pink overshirt. Joanna’s feet are still inconsistent – sometimes she points them right, sometimes they’re flat. I find it maddening. But, other than that, it was good – though I tire of those dips they do.
Judges: Both Len and Bruno liked it in a slightly pervy way and Carrie Ann thought it was excellent, adding she’d like to see her in the finals.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
11. Kelly & Louis
Dance/Song: Cha Cha/”Girls Just Want To Have Fun” a la Cyndi Lauper
When she’s really on, her legs and feet are freaking fantastic. There was a little weirdness towards the end of the lengthy turning sequence but definitely a huge improvement over the first week and very well danced.
Judges: Bruno said her precision was really good as was her timing. Carrie Ann loved that she finished her lines and said she did a great job. Len said she struggled at the beginning but did three dances at a very high level tonight.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
12. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Cha Cha/”Fire Burning (On the Dance Floor)” a la Sean Kingston
They put a lot of wow in a very short routine…that left her in some short shimmy shorts at the end. Her pivot footwork was pro-level, very impressive.
Judges: Carrie Ann liked the content but something about the beginning didn’t speak to her. Len was disappointed because he wanted it to go on longer. Bruno likened it to an “action packed trailer to a blockbuster.”
Score: 29 (9-10-10)
Who’s Out: Wow…this is a very hard one to predict. Mya definitely better be in. I think, despite being in third place, Donny’s voting numbers are strong enough to get him in which leaves Joanna and Kelly. There’s a three-point gap in their scores and I’m not sure if Kelly can pull enough calls to overcome that.
Your thoughts on a high-quality semi-final? Did you have a favorite danced? Were you surprised that everyone was scored generally fairly? Think you know who’s going to be in the final? Anything else you’d like to add?
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