Ugh… it’s story night again on Dancing with the Stars. This is my least favorite night of the season – by far. The dancers and their celebrity partners all feel the need to overdo the props, lay on the pantomiming, and crank up the costumes. In fact, as Brooke readily admitted off the top, they are actually encouraged to do so. But why, I ask you, why? Really, isn’t Dancing egregiously tacky and overdone on a regular basis already? But when you’re the number one show in America, you can do what you want. So come on. If I have to watch, you have to watch. Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough – Dancing is really blowing their wad early tonight, don’t you think? Putting The Wonder Bread Twins in first position is dangerous, though you’ll hear no complaints from me about not having to wait for Derek’s innocent prep school boy routine. Unfortunately, Jen and Der were forced to perform their hoping-to-be-hot-and-spicy samba to “A Little Respect” by Erasure, a song about as sexy as the theme to Full House. That took a little air out of my tires, I can tell you.
The samba itself was well-executed, but again these two… just flat out dull. Have they just peaked too early? Carrie Anne was the only one who seemed to catch that it was a little lacking, though she still fell in line with Len and Bruno when the paddles came up. 8s all around.
TOTAL = 24 – no loss, no gain from last week’s score. Florence Henderson & Corky Ballas – Of all the songs to pick from The Sound of Music, why “Edelweiss”? That’s the boring number Christopher Plummer sings solo with a guitar, if I remember correctly. No spinning on a mountain top, no goat puppets, no line of precocious Austrian kids kicking each other in the ass. Every movie musical needs a “bathroom break” song (Chicago has “Mr. Cellophane,” Grease has “There Are Worse Things I Could Do”), for The Sound of Music, it’s definitely “Edelweiss”
But I digress. I thought that Florence referencing her dearly-departed husband was genuine, but the death card is just used way too frequently on this show to be taken all that seriously. Also, the green lamé peasant dress was Flo’s first wardrobe misstep of the season. The performance itself was simple, wobbly and broken down into pieces while Florence stopped to organize her body parts into the next position.
And why during Florence’s judges’ remarks did the director continue to cut away to Kelly and Sharon Osbourne? Are they trying to equate Florence Henderson and Sharon Osbourne in the pantheon of television moms? Because if so, I’m here to tell you that Florence blows Sharon completely out of the water.
TOTAL = 20 Kurt Warner & Anna Trebunskaya – The tea party with the daughters in the tape package was a little too precious for my taste, but may I say, Kurt’s lookin’ particularly sharp on the floor in suit and pink silk tie. This is how he should look every week. The performance was silky smooth as well. And mercifully, Kurt and Anna demonstrated severe restraint with the storyteller aspect: launching with a brief Singin’ in the Rain prelude, and then tossing the prop umbrellas and head scarves aside to just dance.
Carrie Anne loved it and applauded Kurt’s holds and posture. Len called it “well done.” But Bruno accused Kurt of nearly dropping Anna. Did anyone notice that moment? I sure didn’t.
TOTAL = 23 Margaret Cho & Louis Van Amstel – Remember when I mentioned some of the celebrities going overboard with props and costumes during story week? Well, say hello to the one-woman Korean gay pride parade that is Margaret Cho. It was like Lovee Howell meets Grace Jones.
Margaret was enjoyable, if not very precise, and I don’t quite understand the correlation between her dancing and putting an end to gay suicide.
And Len can’t figure out what the story behind it is? SHE’S DANCING AROUND IN A GAY PRIDE FLAG!
TOTAL = 18 Audrina Patridge & Tony Dovolani – I forgot she was still on this show. Nothing personal, but who is voting for this girl? Isn’t the press always pointing out that Dancing skews to an older audience? Nevertheless, the first two celebrities voted off were David Hasselhoff and Michael Bolton, while Audrina, Bristol Palin, Brandy and The Situation are still alive and tripping. Not that Audrina is the worst dancer on the show. She was actually fairly graceful in her waltz tonight. I just don’t know why anyone is calling to keep seeing her week after week.
At least the “soldier home from war” fantasy was relatively understated, and a nice contrast to Margaret Cho and her meth-addicted parrot routine. In fact, it was a little too understated. I felt my head drooping off to my shoulder midway through.
Bruno called it “compelling and touching.” Carrie Anne: “The competition just got very interesting!” Len applauded her for dancing with her heart. I still say a little snores-ville
TOTAL = 26 – New leader of the night. And after waiting a week, the meager glimpses we got of Tony getting his legs waxed after not getting three 8s last week were disappointing. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas – Bristol’s “teen activist” angle could have withstood a few more weeks of declaration if the show hadn’t cut away to Bristol actually speaking at an event about convincing young girls into abstinence. With her meek delivery and mousy voice, she’d have better success convincing boys into abstinence.
The dance wasn’t much more interesting, was it? Mark played a homeless man living in a crate whose dance moves are so darn irresistible, Teen Activist has no choice but to rip off her trenchcoat and join him in a fox trot. Drippingly dull from beginning to end. Carrie Anne didn’t get the story. Len called it “all a bit too comtenporary.” Bruno insists that Bristol isn’t “feeling it.”
And when Brooke asked her about how she felt about her middling score, Bristol replied, “it sucks ‘cuz we’re not improving this week but next week we’ll come out stronger,” with the lackluster conviction of a fifth grader who’s been told by mommy and daddy how to put on a brave face if she loses the j.v. swim meet. She couldn’t motivate me to chew if I had a face full of curly fries.
TOTAL = 19
Brandy & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – I’m not a Brandy fan. I wouldn’t know a Brandy song if Brandy started it with a dedication to me, I’ve never seen an episode of Moesha in my life and… well… I usually like to do these runs in threes, but I can’t come up with a third thing Brandy’s done.
Since the start of the season, Dear Miss B. has come off at times diva-ish, at times whiney and always ready to point blame at Maks when she screws up. This week, Brandy demonstrated some hot hip-shaking and even a little humility, which I actually bought.
I still say that Maks and his bad-boy routine need a season or two off. He was sexier when we knew less about him, and before Derek entered the picture.
TOTAL = 24Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer – Once again, Kyle and Lacey got the crowd beind them. Bruno assures them they’ve got “likability” all locked up (in a way you’d expet Jennifer and Derek to be able to, but haven’t yet). Carrie Anne cooed and giggled over Kyle’s “bringing of the fun,” but I’m with Len all the way: amateur footwork! And you should listen to me and Len. He’s been a dance teacher for decades, and I’ve now watched TWO seasons of Dancing with the Stars… once this season comes to an end.
TOTAL = 23 The Situation & Karina Smirnoff – The time machine was the only prop of the night I thought added to the fun. And The Sitch definitely looks good in tight-fitting clothes, though you can see him wearing a lot less on Jersey Shore, so who needs to check him out here? And the dancing… remember every once in a while on Happy Days when Fonzie would be reluctantly recruited by the gang to participate in some sort of high school musical or Mr. Cunningham’s fundraiser show for the Leopard Lodge? It was a lot like that. How many weeks is this guy gonna get a break from America?
TOTAL = 20 Rick Fox & Cheryl Burke – Rick promised to unleash his Latin side with this week’s samba, but he claims that Cheryl is simplifying the routine because she’s worried he’s only slightly more graceful than the winning vehicle at a tractor pull. It’s not easy keeping up with the hot tamale that is Cheryl Burke, clearly my favorite of the female professionals. But Rick made good. Ripping his shirt open midway though the number didn’t hurt, be he also brought the moves. By far, Rick and Cheryl were the hottest, sexiest pair of the night. I think the judges agreed, didn’t you?
TOTAL = 24
HIGH SCORES OF THE NIGHT – Audrina and Tony – who’d have thunk it?
LOW SCORES OF THE NIGHT – Margaret and Louis, though they’ve certainly got the gay home vote locked up, right?
Who’s going home? – So far it’s been the older generation set loose first, so I’m putting my money on Florence, though I’d really like to see no more of Bristol and Mark.
Well, we made it through another night of “storytelling.” How fulfilled I feel! I’m looking forward to the seeing the set makeover next week, as well as acoustic night. As for Michael Bolton being a suitable replacement for the ailing Susan Boyle tomorrow night… well…