Dancing with the Stars really stepped it up this week with their introduction of “Classical Night,” wouldn’t you say?
Look! There’s a super-sized orchestra!
Regard! A sharp increase in rhinestones!
Notice! More open chests on the men than usual!
Witness! Mezzo-Soprano great Katherine Jenkins!
Celebrate! The diminished screen time of the useless Dancing with the Stars Troupe! (More on them next week, I guarantee you. They’re still relentlessly boring into the side of my brain).
All this glamour, glitz and showcasing and it’s not even May sweeps! I haven’t been this excited since I mis-read the line on Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s professional bio: “Maks is a Ukranian Latin Ballroom Dancer” as “Maks is a Ukranian Latin Bottom Dancer.”
First up tonight were Romeo and Chelsie Hightower who danced the paso doble. Decked out in sultry reds and blacks as rings of fire circled the floor and erupted around them up into the lighting grids (look out, Lou!), it was clear that the step back Romeo took last week was being more than erased with this tight, provocative number. The low moans of the strings added to the orchestra this week didn’t hurt ether, nor did Romeo whipping off his shirt triumphantly at the dance’s conclusion.
The judges were all more or less positive with their feedback. Len used words like “attack” “passion” and “intensity” and reminded us that nothing was stopping him from ripping his own shirt off anytime he might want to. I won’t describe the entire image that jumped into my head at that moment, but it had something to do with a cool sea breeze whisping through a patch of shoulder blade hair.
SCORE: 23/30 – Romeo once again took his post-dance interview moment to ignore Brooke Burke completely and instead promote his record company and his Twitter account, under the guise of “telling the kids there’s no limit!” Did you spot a connection between dancing, a record label, Twitter and kids? I didn’t. But I did mentally withdraw all the positive things I had to say about Romeo’s dance and bounced him right back into the “desperate fame-hungry little twerp” penalty box where he ended up last week. Listen kid, I know Brooke’s questions are more or less limited to forever re-arranging the words, “how,” “feel” “you,” and “do,” but for god’s sakes, you’re on a show where you are referred to as a “star,” so start acting like it already!
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel – Kendra might be well-served by hiring the guy who interprets everything Marlee Matlin has to say on Celebrity Apprentice and occasionally opts to not convey a slightly less than tasteful remark to the rest of the room. Nothing this girl says comes across as charming, and everything she says comes off as… well… reality show fare. You know, the kind of show where Kendra is the star and every banal observation and snotty face can be made into high drama thanks to zoom close-ups and a soundtrack?
You want to pull for this girl, but it’s hard when she repeatedly sabotages herself.
First, in rehearsal, Kendra heard the Italian music that would accompany her dance, and cooed the line: “I’m sooooo into the mafia… oh my god!” She immediately decided to transform her traditional Viennese waltz into some sort of Godfather meets Swan Lake. Louis simply nodded his head and mentally started updating his head shots.
Kenrda swirled around on stage, visions of horse heads and blood-splattered cannolis dancing through her head, clad in black with a red bra (get it… she’s a black widow!). Her spins were clutzy and her timing was off. It wasn’t horrible, but what made it worse was her crabby-ass responses to the judge’s comments, which won’t endear her to anyone.
Bruno: “You should become one with the music! You should become the character! That’s what it’s all about!”
Kendra: “Well if I had more than four days to practice…”
Carrie Ann: “I want to tell you something… elegance is not that different than sexy. It’s like you’re afraid of elegance.”
Kendra: “I just don’t care about it.”
I think Kendra thinks these remarks make her seem “real” and “down to earth,” but they actually make her just look pouty and perturbed, like a girl who didn’t make the eighth grade cheerleading squad and thinks every grown woman she meets is still judging her for it.
There’s nothing like a self-promoting hip hop singer and a former stripper turned reality show star to suck all the “Class” out of “Classical Week.” Let’s hope it gets better from here. SCORE: 18/30
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke – “This week Chris Jericho’s back, baby.. and he’s ready to go!” I’ll say! The slicked back hair! The drop-dead gorgeous stare directly into camera! The swagger! The cockiness! “In the Hall of the Mountain King” gently playing in the background! All the things I look for in Dancing with the Stars contestant as well as a good proctologist!
Flashy, dramatic, vicious and hot. And Cheryl’s gold lamé “gypsy bitch” outfit took it all the way home. I am almost ready to forgive her for her mind-numbingly dull appearance on Dr. Drew this past week. Anyone else catch that? Someone get her off the talk show circuit fast!
SCORE: 23/30 Brooke asked Chris, “How much do you want to be on top tonight?” and homosexuals all across the country were forced to throw back a shot!
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff – Ralph’s nostalgia factor is slowly beginning to erode in the face of his increasing lack of precision. Week to week, there seems to be more and more “flopping around” sneaking into his routines, and let’s not forget about the dreaded “spatula hands” that Bruno has ridden Ralph on since his ballroom debut. I’m sure there’s some sort of Karate Kid line I could inject here about rising above adversity, but as you all know, I have never seen The Karate Kid (insert incredulous mocking from My Year on the Grill here).
Ralph and Karina performed a waltz to the theme from Romeo and Juliet. It’s clear that Ralph still looks young enough to play the part. It’s also clear that he is not a natural dancer. He’s never bad, but he’s never been as good as he was in week one.
Bruno applauded Ralph for “continuing the lines” and nowhere mentioned any kitchen utensil of any kind. Carrie Ann said she was “swept in” by the drama. Said Len: “You’ve been in the wilderness for two weeks. You’re back!”
I didn’t see any of that. I see a kid who’s practicing to look good at the prom.
SCORE: 25/30 – Ralph’s highest score thus far in the competition. And thank God they’re finally dressing him to fit his frame!
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson– here comes the Hot Stepper! I think I rewound and watched last week’s samba from Hines and Kym five or six times in a row. In fact, I think we all need to celebrate it once more before we move on.
Okay, it’s all out of my system… I think. This week, it was the paso doble for these two. Hines had less of an opportunity to showboat and you certainly saw fewer “gee willakers! This is fun” expressions on his face as he concentrated on delivering the right footwork while dominating Kym Johnson’s tight little bod for the second week in a row. Despite the fact that it wasn’t quite as fun-loving as last week’s samba, it was still a crowd-buster.
Carrie Ann: “You were in the zone. You were CONTROLLING her!”
Len: “You’re really doing great.”
Bruno: “OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH YES! You do have the killer instinct!”
SCORE: 25/30 – HUGE BOOS from the crowd! Carrie Ann proudly waved her 9 paddle around to make sure everyone knew she had scored them the highest of the three. A very “neener-neener” moment.
I don’t think that score was really fair either. I guess I’m gonna have to actually call and vote for Hines tonight. That’ll be the first time I’ve ever voted on this show.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas – the Harry Potter theme for this week’s Viennese waltz was an unfortunate and gimmicky choice, and Mark definitely outshone his partner, as he tends to, sometimes because Mark is a show-off and sometimes because he’s partnered with Waffle-Foots like Bristol Palin or Shannen Doherty. Regardless, I think it’s just friggin’ impossible to look bad when you’re on the floor with Mark.
Still, that hat… that’s two weeks in a row that I’ve been utterly turned off by Mark. Not that he’s losing any sleep over it, but I AM!
Last week, it was Rainbow Brite and this week it’s Bad Merlin.
Len gave Mark praise for the choreography, but slammed him for the show-boatiness of a dance that is over 300 years old. “But she’s 22!” Mark snapped back. “I don’t care!” Len charged, “it’s YOUR job to help her get through it. Not to distract her by creeping all over the floor!”
On the flip side, Bruno called it the best dance of the night. Carrie Ann sided with him. As for me… I’m siding with Len. I guess I’m a big old grump at heart who thinks the kids play their music too loud and that no one’s done comedy well since Don Knotts.
SCORE: 26/30 and the best score of the night. But I still say Mark looks like a doof in that hat. This would never happen with Derek Hough.
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya took on the Viennese waltz. Anna was elegant as an icy blue ballerina crowned with that flaming red hair. Unfortunatly, Sugar Ray decided to gesture a lot with his hands and give wide-eye expressions that would have led Charlie Chaplin to hold up a title card reading, “EXCESSIVE!”
“That was fun,” Tom Bergeron limply uttered like someone who just got off the Pinocchio ride at Disneyland and was thinking, “Forty-five minutes for THAT?”
Carrie Anne equated her giddiness from watching Sugar Ray to that of watching a group of sixth graders perform, and no one in the room took it as an insult. Len called him the “Sugar Ray Fairy,” and also claimed to have “smiled” while dismissing technique entirely. Bruno said it had a “wonderful cartoonish charm.” SCORE: 21/30
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin performed their paso doble to the soundtrack from the Walter Matthau film The Bad News Bears. The music might have been used in an opera before that, but I’m not sure.
Aside from Dimitry ripping off Petra’s clothes… yet again, I just don’t get the appeal of these two. Petra is very sweet and I want to like her more because I’ve never seen anyone get so happy over a 7. Dimitry just seems like the Richard Greico to 21 Jump Street’s Johnny Depp. Am I going too far back?
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Dancing with the Stars is officially going with a “muscle pull” as being responsible for bringing these two tumbling to the floor last week, but no one I’ve heard talk about it has been nearly that polite.
It’s probably not a great thing to go last on this show, after two hours of up and down performances. And if you’re performing a rather sedate Viennese waltz, then you’ve really got the deck stacked against you. Luckily, fate whipped up a little drama in the form of a shoe that slipped off Kirstie’s foot as she waited on the floor for Maks to come and sweep her up. It was at least something that was worth a bit of a rewind in this otherwise classy but serene, bordering on comatose dance. Perhaps they’re just playing it safe this week.
As for the judges, they were mostly middle-of-the-road. Although I did admire when Len told Kirstie she needed to work on her footwork and her posture, to which Kirstie plainly responded, “I agree.” Take a lesson, Kendra Wilkinson!
HIGH SCORE OF THE NIGHT: Chelsea and Mark
LOW SCORE OF THE NIGHT: Kendra and Louis
WHO’S GOING HOME: Based on her sourpuss antics alone, I’m hoping this is the last we’ve seen of Kendra. Though I have to say, in contrast to Kendra, Louis is finally beginning to grow on me. So it’s not all bad news.
Next week I take on those little pipsqueaks in the Dancing with the Stars Troupe, starting with their annoyingly clunky name. Until then… keep it classic!