Lock these knees, throw up the cat hands and say it with me, people… it’s… INSTANT DANCE!
Scream it… INSTANT DANCE!
Now kiss it. Lick it!
Get on your couch and jump up and down like I am right now. Come on… FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IT’S INSTANT DANCE!
But it’s not really instant dance, you know.
Dancing with the Stars very cleverly tucked away the fact that the remaining couples all know well in advance what style of dance they have to perform. They only thing they find out last minute is the particular song to which they’ll have to perform it.
I hope I didn’t bust your Monday night TV viewing bubble. I’m just keeping it real, the way Nene Leakes used to on Celebrity Apprentice, yo?
Sure, the dances still have to be performed well, but I think the show really plays up the INSTANT element way too much. It’s not like Len is barking out different dance styles from the judge’s table and the couples have to immediately morph from samba to paso doble to disco to waltz to the electric slide. That would be truly awesome train wreck viewing. Kirstie Alley’s head might just literally pop on national television! But it’s just not to be.
So while it’s still a lot of fun to run up to your neighbors and scare them in the hallway by screaming out “INSTANT DANCE!” then making your escape straight down the garbage chute before they know what hit them, the urgency is not as appropriate as the producers of Dancing with the Stars are trying to trick you into believing.
Now, on to the dancing.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas – Mark Ballas is like the Jerry Bruckheimer of television choreography. Sometimes he’s so big and so visceral when it’s over you aren’t even sure if you liked it, but you’re too afraid to admit it to anyone. Then other times it’s like he’s worried he’ll lose his audience unless he dials it back significantly, and then you just feel cheated. “Hey! Where are the big explosions? Where’s the motorcycle chase through The Vatican? Where’s John Malkovich providing comic relief with a pressure-sensitive bomb planted in his lower intestine?”
I’m going nowhere with this, am I? Sorry. It’s the thrill of the Instant Dance.
Unfortunately, this is one of the weeks where Mark dialed it back significantly. His waltz with Chelsea (sorry to any and all partners of Mark Ballas… you will always be short-changed in my recaps) was dramatic, but poised and restrained, bathed in too much unnatural tangerine lighting, and Mark wore long peasant sleeves and no leather. Booooo… new choice!
At least the judges liked it, even though Len thought it was overly-theatrical. But his was only the only negative note in the bunch.
SCORE: 29/30 – the first couple to get two 10s this season.
As for the INSTANT DANCE, Mark and Chelsea had the salsa, and thankfully, Mr. Ballas went without sleeves. The dance was pretty tight, plus Mark and Chelsea had a jumped cue at the top (as Tom was kind enough to point out) which they managed to overcome.
Len dug the salsa as much as he did the waltz. Bruno was stunned at the amount of steps and the difficulty level. But Carrie Ann said she didn’t feel a connection to the music, which shocked the entire room, as well as Ms. Inaba’s fellow judges and this dude sitting on his leather couch at home next to his kittycat. The leftover El Pollo Loco burrito from today’s catered lunch at work nearly fell out of his mouth!
INSTANT DANCE SCORE: 26/30, and a 55 for the night. Highest score of the evening. Take that, Carrie Ann!
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson – Hines Ward plus an upbeat foxtrot equals a good time for all!
That smile of utter pleasure just comes beaming through, week after week, doesn’t it? Who can even focus on the footwork? I predict this guy is only a few months away from opening up the “Hines Ward Happy Time Dance Studio!” There’ll be dance lessons, animatronic zoo animals, pee-wee golf courses, water slides, cheese pizza, Bananarama music videos and skee ball! Something for everyone… just like when Hines takes to the dance floor.
As for the INSTANT DANCE, H and K took on the jive. Starting with a little booty jiggle from Hines certainly didn’t hurt. Two high energy dances in a row… what more could Hines ask for? They’re soft pitching to this guy, aren’t they? Nevertheless, it’s only fair to point out (especially immediately after Mark and Chelsea’s instant dance) that the footwork wasn’t all that ambitious. But it was still entertaining, though Hines looked terrifically relieved when it was over. DAMN YOU, INSTANT DANCE!
SCORE: 26/30 for a total of 54/60 and lots and lots (AND LOTS!) of boos from the crowd. I personally thought the score was right on the money… and I was happy to be spared an excessive amount of twirling towel shots from the crowd.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower – The problem I have with Romeo is that whenever he does well, instead of being humble, he uses his post-interview glory time to promote his new album, or his new movie, or his new bubble bath, or the new star his fan club collected $500 to buy and name after him. To be honest, because of that and that alone if he’d gone home last week instead of Kendra Wilkinson, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
Romeo’s dance was the tango in the style of Evita meets TRON: Legacy, complete with laser lights like the kind at Videopolis, the dance club Disneyland used to have back in the late ’80s to attract MTV youngsters like myself. Yeah, I remember those days. I’d get all decked out in my pegged Z Cavaricci pants, my red socks and my black suspenders, sporting eighteen pounds of mousse and just a wispy hint of eye-liner. How I ever got girls to make out with me on “It’s a Small World” I’ll never know, but I did… and don’t any of you try and take that away from me.
Personally, I thought the dance got swallowed up by the special effects, but I clearly must have missed something because Carrie Ann was blown away (“I could not take my eyes off of it!”), Len told Romeo he successfully upped his game, and Bruno sported his usual overly-enthusiastic boner.
SCORE: 27/30 – I would have expected at least one 10, but it didn’t happen. Thankfully, with the lowest score of the evening so far, Romeo kept the bragging at a minimum.
The Instant Salsa was a lot more fun to watch. Romeo had that “Hines-Pro” Glow on his face and the footwork did not cop out. The open shirt didn’t hurt either. But the routine didn’t have a through-line and the two lost their sync a bit at the end. Still not a bad job, and I certainly liked it better than their tango.
SCORE: 25/30. Their total for the night is 52/60. And just when I thought we’d all escaped it this week… Romeo plugged his stupid movie, Jumping the Broom. For that alone, I hope he goes home tomorrow.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff – Not even a hamstring issue and a diversion from rehearsals to make a trip to the doctor for an MRI could keep Ralph out of the game this week. You could practically see it in his face, “Dammit! I’m gonna do my Grace Jones A View to a Kill impression this week if I have to dance on my lips to make it happen. No one’s stopping me!”
Ralph and Karina’s Viennese waltz? Eh. I have nothing new to say.
Ralph looks good… but not great. That look of intensity on his face, and the effort he seems to be applying to make sure his hands are straight take all the fun out of watching him. But he got a hot close-up at the end of his routine. That’s sure to scare up an army of forty-something soccer mom phone votes.
Len pointed out that the lack of rehearsal resulted in a lack of polish. To be honest, he looked about as good/bad as he always does to me. Bruno called Ralph and Karina “vampire lovers,” and as usual, no one knew what to make of the comment. Carrie Ann thankfully informed Ralph that her scores would be affected by his injury but encouraged the soccer moms to put down their boxes of Ritz Bits and pick up their phones and vote.
Actually, I cannot tell a lie. The soccer moms aren’t the ones porking down on Ritz Bits. It’s me. My niece left them behind when she was here to shoot her episode of 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show, coming to ABC this summer! I can’t tell you how it turned out… but she did really, really well!!! And these Ritz Bits are really, really good!!!
Next came Ralph and Karina’s Instant Cha Cha Cha. Ralph had his usual fun while simultaneously demonstrating his usual stiffness. This guy is a real dancing contradiction, isn’t he? And, as expected because of the injury, Ralph’s footwork was severely limited. Sadly, Handsome Ralph’s scores reflected that.
SCORE: 21/30 landing them waaaaaaaay at the bottom… with 46/60. It’s all up to you, Soccer Moms!
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy landed at the bottom of the leader board last week, and this week, they’re saddled with the “very techincal” (Words of Maks, not me) Argentine waltz, “There’s enough steps to stamp out all the cockroaches in New York!” declared Kirstie in the rehearsal tape package, before falling repeatedly on her face and admitting to a 1400-calorie-a-day diet.
And how do we feel about Kirstie… is she actually losing weight, or is it just the wardrobe? Take a look at the pic at the top of this entry again… Kirstie and Ralph. The woman is positively stunning… and sixty years old! But the ups and downs with the weight and her making such a big deal out of it all these years! You can’t blame anyone for making an issue out of it. Unfortunately, now she’ll be judged until the day she dies by how much she weighs. I wish she’d lick it just long enough for a few good years on a well-written series that doesn’t have to write around, or worse, write specifically for her weight issues. She’s a major talent. I’m hoping that this stint lands her somewhere better than where she’s been these last few years. Fat Actress sucked.
As for the tango… who could ignore the precision? Plus, Kirstie and Maks looked exceptionally hot in red, and BONUS.. no cutaways to Kelly Preston! Plus, that sexy dip? If I had a 10 paddle under my couch, I would have pulled it out immediately.
Bruno went ga-ga for the footwork. Carrie Ann: “I think you just topped your cha cha!” Len: “It was hot. I’m surprised Maks only took his hat off!”
The instant dance was a Salsa, and it was fairly clear that Maks didn’t give Kirstie all that much to do, and unfortunately she had about 13 steps left to complete after the music ran out. Kirstie apparently got caught up in a moment during judging and said something that needed to be bleeped out, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that Kirstie said “shit,” but as the cameras weren’t on her, there way no way to tell for sure.
SCORE: 25/30 and a grand total of 53/60
HIGH SCORES OF THE NIGHT: Chelsea and Mark
LOW SCORES OF THE NIGHT: Ralph and Karina
WHO’S GOING HOME: Well, I don’t think it’s any secret that Romeo is the one star I can do without going forward, and I think DWTS‘s demographics will be enough to keep Ralph fighting for another week. And as we close the book on our second-ever INSTANT DANCE, I’m going to go see if my Z Cavaricci’s and my suspenders are still somewhere in my closet. You never know when you might stumble upon a chick who wants to make out on a boat ride. See you next week!