That’s right ladies and gentlemen. We are on the precipice of the finals of Dancing with the Stars. With just four celebs remaining, who will grab this opportunity with both hands and who will unintentionally spit in opportunity’s eye?


More little changes in this, the "season of surprises" in that this week the couples will perform the one dance style they haven’t done yet as well as the return of two of the dreaded four new styles from a couple weeks ago. P.S. That singer in the band’s forehead chandelier was beyond description tonight.

1. Brooke Burke & Derek
Dance/Song: Jive/"The House Is Rockin’"    

Derek is getting frustrated with the choreography this week since the second dance they’re doing, the Salsa, is one he’s unfamiliar with. But Brooke is more concerned with achieving a "wow factor" in the Jive and actually connecting with the audience. Oh, what’s that Brooke? You’re stating what I’ve been saying is your one big weakness for weeks now? It’s nice to know we’re on the same page. She had a few bobbles here and that might be because she was concentrating so much on being high-energy and full of personality. Okay, so that was a lift…Carrie Ann will not be pleased. Did I say a few bobbles? Make that a lot of bobbles. This is the most I’ve seen her mess up since the first couple weeks but bonus points on dialing up the personality factor (or at least trying).

Judges: Len said it was messy, Bruno is shocked because her technique wasn’t good, and Carrie Ann tweaked hard about the list calling it "blatant and disrespectful." Yowch.

Score: 21 (all 7’s)

2. Cody Linley & Julianne
Dance/Song: Paso Doble/"Le Disko" by Shiny Toy Guns   

Julianne and Cody are reunited and it feels so good. Too bad that got a weird song to Paso to. Terrible. But I do like the military theme Julianne gave the number and I want a pair of boots just like hers. Cody’s game face is on, there’s a good intensity but there’s something odd about his carriage at times. There were a couple timing issues and, while he was a little stiff, due to the military flavor I understand why he’d go that direction. I think it might be that he needed one more day of practice so he wouldn’t have to think so hard about everything.

Judges: Bruno found him/it a bit robotic and had issues with the content, Carrie Ann complimented his determination but could tell how concentrated he was on the movements, and Len thought it was "stiff and wooden."

Score: 22 (8-7-7)

3. Warren Sapp & Kym
Dance/Song: Mambo/a Latin-friendly version of "Tequila" by The Champs     

Warren’s schedule is busy almost like Susan’s is so he and Kym are practicing whenever and wherever they can. He’s tired and getting frustrated in rehearsals but determined to make it to the next round. It’s a rough night for everyone seemingly as Warren also messes up a bit, but he’s still darn entertaining. And man has he slimmed down. Kym has also done a good job of putting some interesting moments into the dance, even though the content was a bit light.

Judges: Carrie Ann liked the performance aspect but wants more challenging routines, Len said that even though he’s not great with technique at least he comes with the entertainment factor, and Bruno agrees, stating that Warren’s grand sense of fun let’s him "get away with murder."

Score: 24 (all 8’s)

4. Lance Bass & Lacey

Dance/Song: Mambo/"    

The other dance they’re doing is the Jitterbug so Lance invited his dad and grandfather to come out from Mississippi to watch a rehearsal and see the show. Lance’s grandpa was in World War II and hasn’t been in LA since then. He was in the Navy and he and his friends used to come to the big city to dance. Watching James Bass, Sr. get a kick out of seeing his grandson dance like that was adorable. But onto the Mambo. Personality and performance-wise, it was fantastic. He definitely needs to work on his feet still but otherwise the technique is good. This is definitely one of the most entertaining Mambos of the season. Thank you Lance & Lacey for not mucking up like everyone else.

Judges: Len said that it was the best dance so far, Bruno thought it was full of content and imaginative, and Carrie Ann called it a "showstopper" and their best dance this season.

Score: 28 (10-9-9)

Before we get to the second round, we get Len’s Master Class. The segment starts with him dancing with Kym and Cheryl in a tux in a dream sequence. He visits Lance & Lacey first, zeroing on Lance’s feet (namely that he’s pigeon-toed). Len used to have the same problem so that was fixed pretty easily. Len says Cody’s problem is his hip action, or rather his relative lack thereof. This was less of a snap to solve but at least there was improvement. Brooke’s issue is her leg action, not straightening them at the right time and whatnot. And finally Len tried to help Warren with his feet while Warren teaches him his trademark shuffle-like dance in return.

To pad the show a bit more, we get exhibition dances from professionals so the folks at home can know what the judges are looking for in the new styles. The first pros are Salsa champions Paul Barris & Yesenia Adame. They were good – their lifts were quite impressive.

5. Brook Burke & Derek
Dance/Song: Salsa/    

Lifts must be allowed in this round because they came out of the gate with one. If not, they’re going to be in big trouble. It’s a definite improvement from the first dance. There still a form break here and there but it’s an enjoyable number with a really good ending. I still feel like she’s only at 85% personality capacity, though.

Judges: All the judges licked her dance shoes as expected. Carrie Ann was impressed by the lifts, though there were a lot of them. They must’ve been allowed or else she would’ve had a meltdown.

Score: 28 (9-10-9)

6. Cody Linley & Julianne 

Dance/Song: Salsa/    

He’s still a little stiff but he’s got a lot of personality going in this number. The timing was off a little at times but the choreography was really good.

Judges: Carrie Ann thought the musicality was lacking too much to make it to the finals, Len disagrees and was quite impressed by the lift, and Bruno thought it was great fun but still a little weak technique-wise.

Score: 24 (all 8’s)

Our Jitterbug professionals are Christian Perry & Annette Nicole, former Swing champs. I swear I’ve seen Christian Perry somewhere before. Watching them makes me feel like I’m watching one of those Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movies – lots of energy and flying about. Very cool.

7. Warren Sapp & Kym 
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"That Old Black Magic"    

Warren starts out by dealing cards to the judges and then a casino waitress appareled Kym comes out. The technique, as always, is imperfect but gosh darn it, he knows how to engage an audience. The lifts were crazy since he could essentially juggle all the remaining female dancers. I do, however, find the song to sort of not work for this type of dance.

Judges: Len again says how joyful Warren is to watch, Bruno says that the master class didn’t work, and Carrie Ann loved it.

Score: 25 (9-8-8)

8. Lance Bass & Lacey 
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"Jim Dandy"    

As a shout-out to G-pa, Lance is dressed in a white sailor’s uniform. This number looked much more like the pros’ performance than Warren & Kym’s. I really liked it. Wait…did Lance’s shoe just fly off? Nice. Bonus points for doing five-sixths of the number lopsided. It had a lot of personality, was well choreographed, and Lacey even lifted Lance once or twice. C’est magnifique!

Judges: Bruno called it a "real joy" and likened it to the movie On The Town, Carrie Ann thought it was "magic on the dance floor," and Len thought it was "fabulous."

Score: 29 (10-9-10) – Lance said he wanted two 10’s on this number…

The Bottom Two: I’m thinking it’s between Warren and Cody.
Who’s Out: Um…it’s a toss up. I could very easily see it going either way with a slight edge to Cody staying based on the determined tween demo voting for him.

Did you like the addition of the new dances to the semi-finals? Were you surprised that there was so much choking in the first round? Did you have a favorite dance? Any other thoughts?

Posted by:Tamara Brooks