melissajoanhart markballas dancingwiththestars s9 290 Melissa Joan Hart breaks through & a slide for Aaron Carter on 'Dancing with the Stars'Kelly Osbourne delights and Mya scores more 10’s as “Dancing with the Stars” mixes it up this week with four new dance styles – the Two-Step, Bolero, Charleston, and…the Lambada? Uh, yes. The Lambada. Right.

Observations during the Descent of Doom: Aaron Carter hates shirt buttons tonight; the ridges in Anna T.’s hair kind of reminds me of the Bride of Frankenstein; why yes, that’s Mark Ballas with a giant fake mustache; Louis Van Amstel’s make-up is the awesome; and, never to be outdone, Dmitri takes Aaron’s lack of buttons and raises him see-through material (not that I’m complaining).

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris introduce the show and clarify that lifts are legal tonight provided it fits the dance. Oooooo…zesty!

1. Chuck Liddel & Anna Trebunskya
Dance/Song: Two-Step/”Boot Scootin’ Boogie” a la Brooks and Dunn

The intro is cute, Chuck using a rope to lasso Anna, but I can already hear Len fussing about it. The turn sequences and lifts were impressive. It seemed like he was walking through some of the steps because he wasn’t on beat. However, it totally looked authentic. I imagine there’s a dude somewhere at a Country bar dancing just like that right now. It was rough but had moments. I still want to squeeze him.

Judges: Len thought the lifts were great and loves that he’s entertaining, however he urges Chuck to improve his quality of dance. Bruno said it was “carnage and mayhem” but still looked like he was doing a Two-Step. Carrie Ann says the style suits him, adding he “may not have a lot of grace, but [he] never lets the dance beat [him].”

Score: 17 (6-5-6)

2. Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas
Dance/Song: Charleston/”The Charleston” aka “The Song Everyone Associates With This Dance”

Melissa’s determined to shake her fear and score in the 20’s. She’s practicing more so she doesn’t think about it and can really let go. Mark smartly took her to a 20’s club in costume. Having a solid character to latch onto should help, right? Right. It’s totally helping her perform not just well but consistently. Some of her moves were a bit small at times but it’s so fast, it’s forgivable. Definitely a breakout performance. Mark’s giant mustache is made of win and he did great choreography.

Judges: Bruno says she had the role “120%” and called it fantastic. Carrie Ann thought it was “their dance” and dubbed it a breakthrough. Len said it had energy, ecitement, and entertainment – the three things needed for a great Charleston.

Score: 28 (9-9-10)

3. Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo
Dance/Song: Bolero/”Better In Time” a la Leona Lewis

It’s Natalie’s second slow, sexy dance in a row and, since they scored well last week, Alec is throwing harder choreography her way. It was a tense week and the rehearsal package ended with mutual frustration over whether they should do a hard or easy step in a certain spot. They do this split thing at the beginning while she’s on stage and his on the floor, her foot on his shoulder. Mad impressive. Great job by Alec with the choreography. It was well performed and she deserved a good score. By the by, that one move that seemed to have caused all the hullabaloo was ditched.

Judges: Carrie Ann thought it was beautiful but saw a little more struggle in the movements than last week. Len said it had a great lyrical movement and liked it a lot, though wanted a smidge more romance between the two of them. Bruno said she looked “beautiful and dangerous” but cautions to make sure her arms don’t go into stiff “swimmer mode.”

Score: 24 (all 8’s)

4. Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff
Dance/Song: Lambada/”Doctor Beat” a la Gloria Estefan

Poor Aaron. He was upset after not scoring/performing as well as he’d like last week but Michael Irvin gave him some encouraging words and a fatherly hug to pick him back up. They want to put in this crazy flip maneuver at the beginning so they went for some gymnastics training to ensure no one, you know, dies or anything. The flip is a round-off into a back flip/scissor-kick combo over Karina. She’s posed low on the ground, but still. Kudos! His feet were a little weird at times but it was entertaining. Lots of spins and lifts and stuff. The last big move…something went wrong there. Not sure what but something definitely was wonky. I think there was a little too much adrenaline through his system after the flip and he never settled down.

Judges: Len liked the enthusiasm but didn’t think he connected to the rhythm and raunch enough. Bruno agrees, giving Aaron the tip to channel his characters more. Carrie Ann counsels that he’s just trying too hard and needs to “chill out.”

Score: 18 (all 6’s)

markdacascos laceyschwimmer dancingwiththestars s9 290 Melissa Joan Hart breaks through & a slide for Aaron Carter on 'Dancing with the Stars'5. Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer
Dance/Song: Two-Step/”Nothin’ Better to Do” a la Leann Rimes

Mark’s family visited this week and his kids are flipping adorable, especially the little girl. So cute! His challenge this week was to have more fun and stop stressing so much so they can have fun on the floor. Not to be outdone, Lacey did an assisted run across the judges’ table and Mark did his own flipping over his partner at the end. I liked it. He seemed to be in his head less and certainly looked like he was having fun. He performed it well.

Judges: Bruno thought his confidence has improved and it was fun but pointed out there was a section that his footing off. Cue grumbles from the audience and an eye roll from C to the A. Carrie Ann thought the chemistry, confidence, choreography and execution was all there. Len loved the choreography and compliments Mark on actually leading, giving the tip to make sure his footwork isn’t heavy.

Score: 22 (8-7-7)

6. Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel
Dance/Song: Charleston/The theme from “Cabaret”

Apparently Kelly auditioned for the lead role for “Chicago” on Broadway and got it, but then was moved to a different part because she couldn’t dance. This B’way flavored number should be right up her alley then. I love her flapper outfit. More great choreography. It was really cute and she performed well. My only slight issue with the technique was that her feet didn’t quite pivot enough during the Mashed Potato sections. Other than that, I thought she really owned the number. Also, Louis’ make-up is fab.

Judges: Carrie Ann said she had a very specific look and lived up to it. Len loved that she had confidence and performed great, but agrees with me that there could’ve been more swivel. Bruno dug the Liza Minnelli/Joel Gray/Fosse touches and thought it was a “very good performance.”

Score: 23 (8-7-8)

7. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
Dance/Song: Lambada/Couldn’t catch the name but the word “Lambada” is in it

I feel like all she’s been doing is Latin dances and I’m over it. Where’s the variation, producers? Derek is opting to do this number shirtless. Fair enough. She was fine but I kind of feel like Derek was doing all the work. It was entertaining and grindy and everything but…meh. I’d probably have enjoyed it better if I actually liked her.

Judges: Len compliments Derek’s choreography though found it a bit repetitive at times. Bruno called it “When Animals Get Physical.” Carrie Ann said it was “fueled by the crotch area.”

Score: 26 (9-8-9)

8. Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Dance/Song: Charleston/”Put A Lid on It” a la Squirrel Nut Zippers

The night of great choreography continues. Donny performed this perfectly and managed to not seem super Broadway-y. It was very “Old School Hollywood.” Great job, one of the best of the night for sure.

Judges: Bruno said it was a great performance but gives the tip to be a bit sharper on the kicks. Carrie Ann loved the synchronization and thought he meet their high expectations. Len simply stated that it was really well done.

Score: 24 (all 8’s) – it would’ve been higher for sure if he didn’t mess up a smidge

michaelirvin annademidova dancingwiththestars s9 290 Melissa Joan Hart breaks through & a slide for Aaron Carter on 'Dancing with the Stars'9. Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova
Dance/Song: Bolero/A jazzy “One Day I’ll Fly Away”

As a secret weapon, Anna brings in Tony Dovolani to tutor him since he’s a World Champion. The private lesson helped, he definitely improved from last week. The character was stong and he emoted well. He hit his marks strong but she seemed to be doing more of the heavy lifting in terms of moves. I can’t tell if that’s a choreography issue or that Michael is still having trouble connecting his moves.

Judges: Carrie Ann saw the romance and recognizes that he’s a “gracious partner,” but the pose-to-dance ratio wasn’t right. Len agrees that it was “slightly economic with the movement,” but believes this is a difficult dance because of the control needed. Bruno could also see the romance but there wasn’t enough dancing.

Score: 15 (5-6-5)

10. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower
Dance/Song: Two-Step/”Sweet Home Alabama” a la Lynard Skynyrd

To help get in the cowboy spirit, they visited Chelsie’s former partner Ty Murray at his ranch. She certainly was much flashier than he was. He didn’t really put much oomph in the steps but at least he actually looked like he was leading. Louie really needs to learn how to fill in the gaps between the steps better. I think that’s the only thing really holding him back – he doesn’t know how to connect them so he just does nothing. Bonus points for the crazy flip-lift at the end though.

Judges: Len pointed out that Chelsie did way more than Louie but acknowledged that this style didn’t suit him. Bruno said the timing was dubious but his charm helped pull him through. Carrie Ann didn’t feel the music through him but said that Chelsea was working it, though not enough to distract from Louie’s shuffling.

Score: 16 (5-5-6) – there were cries of dismay from some people in the audience

11. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Lambada/”Ain’t It Funny” a la Jennifer Lopez

The choreography was much more of a collaboration this week with Dmitry taking heed to much of her input. I like how they both got baby oiled up for the number. It’s an effect visual trick. Mya’s push to keep it more simple certainly worked in their favor. It was definitely hot and very well performed.

Judges: Bruno said it was a roller coaster that you’d want to ride over and over and over. Carrie Ann said that it was amazing, that she took the sexy and raunchy “that Bruno” loves and brought some class and sophistication to it. Len never finds their routines boring but he expected more from the dance. Thunderous boos from the audience that I will also contribute to – BOOOOOOO!

Score: 28 (10-8-10)

Bottom Three: Hmmm…Michael and Chuck deserve to be down there. Sadly, Louie might end up there just because he scored so low but he’s got a lot of promise so I hope he’s safe. This might be one of those weeks where someone who isn’t really in any danger is put under the Spotlight of Doom just because.
Who’s Out: It’ll come down between Michael and Chuck. It depends on which one has more voters for him but they’re both struggling and it’s about that time…

How’d you like the new dances? I could’ve done without the Bolero or the Lambada but loved the Charleston. Did you have a favorite number? Why is Len hating on Mya? Think you know who’ll go home? Any other thoughts?

Posted by:Tamara Brooks