This is it folks. We’re one week away from crowning the champion of Dancing with the Stars but first, we’ve got to get through the semi-finals.
Each couple chose their dance styles at random from a giant disco ball. Also, the lift allowance was temporary only temporary and we’re back to the standard rules. Len addresses the couples and tells them essentially that good is not good enough, they’ve got to be great. But no pressure.
1. Jason Taylor & Edyta
Dance/Song: Foxtrot – "Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off" by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
Jason picked the Foxtrot and the Paso Doble out of the Disco Ball of Doom. During rehearsal, Jason’s a little tired so Edyta uses football analogies and a video from Dan Marino to help keep his focus. The number was strong as his Ballroom dances tend to be. He moved a lot more than usual (not the standard 4 body positions) and there was quite a bit more personality on his part than there has been in the past.
Judges: All the judges were pleased with how much more content there was and his increased showmanship.
Score: 28 (9-10-9)
2. Marissa Jarret Winokur & Tony
Dance/Song: Quickstep – "Around the World" by Frank Sinatra
Marissa’s chosen the Rumba and Quickstep from the DBoD. DWTS poster girl Stacy Keibler comes by to give Marissa some tips and the two of them poke fun at Tony. They’re really focusing on refining her technique which really shows in the performance. It was a cute number, full of energy and great choreography. There was a brief hitch in one part (she missed a leap in their diagonal pattern) but overall it was good performance.
Judges: Bruno was much harder on her but they all agree that, despite a slight misstep and since it’s such limiting dance since the hold must be maintained the whole time, it was a good job.
Score: 26 (9-9-8)
3. Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Viennese Waltz – "Satellite" by The Dave Matthews Band (fantastic song, bad rendition)
Much to Cristian’s dismay, he picked the Viennese Waltz and the Samba. Since he injured himself on the Samba, he’s having some flashbacks of dread. After they go out and meet some fans on the street campaigning for votes, Cristian’s able to get over his issues. Big ups again to Cheryl for her great choreography. The holds were solid and his posture has steadily improved. There was a one-armed turning sequence that I really liked. By the way, Cheryl’s outfit is ridiculous yet fantastic. It looks like someone was trying to gift wrap her. Tom Bergeron asks if anyone’s missing a weather balloon after the judge’s remarks.
Judges: Nothing but positives all around. Carrie Ann states that she likes how he looks so intense and focused at the beginning of the dance but then there’s a moment where he just lets go and enjoys it.
Score: 27 (9-9-9)
4. Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark
Dance/Song: Tango – An instrumental piece I don’t know the name of but was appropriate for the number
Mark picks for them and they get the Tango and the Jive, which Kristi is nervous about since they got a perfect score on the latter dance. To help fine tune, Mark takes Kristi to a high-level Tango class for tips from other pros. This was definitely better than their first time around. Technically it was solid as ever but the most impressive thing was her level of intensity and that she had a range of emotions.
Judges: Bruno and Carrie Ann were impressed but Len the Tango Scrooge said it was too hectic at times.
Score: 29 (10-9-10)
Before we get to the Latin round, we get to see Len visit the semi-finalists to give tips and a specific movement they must do in the dance. He visits Jason first and gives him a footwork sequence so his Paso isn’t so "pose-y." During Kristi’s visit, Len corrects one of her spin positions and gives her a roundabout-through-the-arms kind of maneuver to do for her Jive. Len helps Cristian with his promenades for the Samba and gives him a one-armed turn sequence. Finally, Len helps Marissa with her hip action.
5. Jason & Edyta
Dance/Song: Paso Doble – A familiar sounding instrumental piece
It was definitely less with the static poses. He had a good intensity and Edyta gave him much more to do, which was appreciated. It wasn’t perfect but it was better.
Judges: All three appreciated the character he brought to the dance and liked that it had more content.
Score: 27 (all 9’s)
6. Marissa & Tony
Dance/Song: Rumba – "Just The Two of Us" by Grover Washington, Jr.
I found that the music didn’t really match. Once I muted the sound, the dance came through better and I liked it. She could’ve used a little more hip action but it was an improvement from her last Tango.
Judges: Carrie Ann wasn’t excited by it ("no wow factor") but Len countered stating that the Rumba is more about technique and he really liked it, as did Bruno.
Score: 26 (8-9-9)
7. Cristian & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Samba – "Sweetheart from Venezuela" by Harry Belafonte
By finishing and not getting injured, he’s already a step above the last time. Cristian had a good energy and hip action and looked like he was having a good time. But he looked like he messed up a few times.
Judges: All the judges enjoyed his performance but it was a little flat-footed at times for Len.
Score: 29 (10-9-10) – I think the 10’s were a reward for overcoming past demons and performing well, in spite of the mistakes.
8. Kristi & Mark
Dance/Song: Jive – "Nutbush City Limits" by Ike & Tina Turner
It was a fun number and full of all kinds of cool moves. I especially liked the sequence towards the end with the spins and dips and through the legs and back…really impressive.
Judges: Carrie Ann and Len both agreed that she was a touch off but commended her on the difficulty of her routine. Bruno straight up loved it.
Score: 28 (9-9-10)
Bottom Two: I’m thinking it’s Marissa and Jason in a "shocker."
Who’s Out: This could go a couple ways, but I’m fairly certain it’ll be Marissa.