While many Dancing with the Stars results shows are jam-packed with throwaway segments that sometimes make me want to poke out an eye, this week’s managed to entertain me pretty much the whole time. Amazing!
In the recap hour preceding the results show, the Junior contestants took the stage since there are about 1,458 musical performances on the following hour. In case you’re wondering, here’s what happened:
Kirill & Hannah – Tony was their pro mentor. He was impressed by how quickly they learned and applied his pointers. They danced a Cha Cha to "Get Ready" by The Temptations. Hannah’s lines were fantastic. They’re both really great dancers.
Mitchell & Maria are next. Julianne was their mentor and she says she doesn’t think she was this good at their ages. They do a Samba to "Mas Que Nada." They were good too – very smooth.
Craig & Samantha close it out. Maks is their mentor and teaches them a sliding step amongst other tips. They do a Jive to "Rockin’ Robin" by The Jackson Five. Wow. They’re crazy good too. Both of them have really great lines and dance with such personality.
They were all good but I’m a bit partial to Mitchell & Maria. They just have a little extra something to me. The good thing about it is that no matter who wins, all three couples will get a trip to Disneyland ("in the interest of corporate synergy," says Tom Bergeron).
The results show kicks of with a performance of "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin. The pros dancing with her are Karina, Anna, Louis, and Dmitri of So You Think You Can Dance fame. I have to digress a moment here because they cut to the singers in the band and that one, you know the one, was all cleavage and chandeliers (both on her head and hanging off her ears) and a shiny black dress that looked like it might be made of some sort of plastic. I know I’m just feeding the fire by talking about her but Sweet Buttery Christmas! Anyway, Aretha was good as always but not fully up to form. But who cares because it’s Aretha. Bow down. Also, Karina and Anna’s hair was all fuzzy and huge and crazy.
After the requisite mini-recap (they love their recaps) and some commercials, Leona Lewis graces us with a song – thankfully "Bleeding Love" and not the new single which I don’t think does her voice justice. Maks and Kariana are our pros for this one doing what appears to be a Rumba. I normally don’t dig Rumbas but I really like this one.
Post-leaderboard standings, Tom and Samantha ask the judges what could send each contestant to the finals. Len says Cody’s enthusiasm could take him far. Bruno believes Lance’s creativity and interpretation are special. Carrie Ann of course credits Warren’s sense of showmanship. And…another commercial break.
Julianne Hough gets to sing, probably for the first time on TV, her single "My Hallelujah Song" as Mark Ballas, Lacey, and Derek dance. She also dances some, nothing too strenuous. Lacey does a really cool turn sequence during her solo at the beginning. All and all, Julianne did well. She has a lot of potential.
Back from them trying to sell us stuff, John Legend takes the stage with his new single "Green Light." He’s got a bunch of dancers and he’s working a modern American Band Stand/Soul Train vibe at the beginning. He moves to a Kryptonian/Fortress of Solitude type stage in the middle of the floor while his dancers work it out in front of him. They even do a Soul Train line. Awesome. I like the 60’s soul vide a lot of the music is adopting now.
To allow the stagehands time to break down the Last Stage of Krypton, there’s an interview package with loved ones of the Final Four – Warren and Cody’s moms, Brooke’s fiance, and Lance’s granddad (who says how he votes with both his cell and landline). Oh…and more commercials.
Musical performance #456 is the return of Aretha Franklin singing "Respect" as current champs Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark perform. It was quite impressive – you’d think she was on this season.
More filler! A segment of faux trash-talking from the last four contestants. And by trash-talking, it’s really just saying what makes the other dancers so good and why they’re "dangerous." I like how they’re all emerging from smoke and fog in the footage. Hilarity.
Finally we’re down to business. The first couple in the finals is…Lance Bass & Lacey. Yay! Also moving on is Brooke Burke & Derek. Not surprised at all. Tom clarifies that Cody and Warren aren’t necessarily in the bottom to but, really? Come on…
After one last word from our sponsors, the axe has fallen on young Cody Linley & Julianne. He takes the info as well as he could and expresses his gratitude for the experience. They play a farewell package (which Susan Lucci nor to my recollection Maurice Greene got) with an inset of the two watching. And of course they play him crying again. I think the biggest up side is Cody’s new hair. So much better than when he first started. Their goodbye song is "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" which Cody and Julianne do a little butt-shimmy to.
Was anyone surprised by the results? Did you think they could fit that many musical performances into one show? Any assorted thoughts you’d like to share?